Dearth of over 2,000 skilled workers, bane to construction industry | Daily News

Dearth of over 2,000 skilled workers, bane to construction industry

Gold Sponsor of the event Elite Radio presenting their cheque to Deputy Minister of Finance Lakshman Yapa Abeywardane. Picture by Saliya Rupasinghe
Gold Sponsor of the event Elite Radio presenting their cheque to Deputy Minister of Finance Lakshman Yapa Abeywardane. Picture by Saliya Rupasinghe

Since the majority of qualified Sri Lankan workers have left the country for overseas employment, there is a dearth of over 2,000 skilled laborers and IT personnel to carry out the ongoing construction work in Colombo and the other suburban areas , Deputy Finance Minister Lakshman Yapa Abewardana said.

Minister Abewardana made these remarks at a media briefing held in Colombo to make the announcement of conducting the Sri Lanka’s major exhibition in the construction field, ‘Construction Expo-2017’.The three- day exhibition conducted under the theme ‘Towards a Green Sri Lanka’ will be held at BMICH on June 2,3 and 4 .

Speaking further Minister Abeywardana said at a time when Sri Lankan qualified workers providing their expert knowledge to foreign countries , the Government has no other alternative rather than importing skilled workers for our services.The Minister focusing his attention on the climatic conditions in the country said due to this people have to face a severe drought which would badly affects the country’s agricultural sector and also other sectors as well.

“In addition we will also have to face power cuts considering the poor water levels of our major power producing resources,”he said. 

The Minister however said the Government has taken several precautionary measures to help people irrespective of this climatic conditions and said that the Treasury has already allocated US$ 1.5 billion to provide assistance to people uninterruptedly under any disaster situation.

The objective of conducting the ‘Construction Expo-2017’ Exhibition for the sixth consecutive year is to showcase the features on the latest green building concept which is the most needed and prominent trend in the country.

According to the Expo-2017 organizing committee, the participant construction suppliers will give visitors the opportunity to have a close look on latest construction equipment, machinery, material and services used in the construction field, quality cement, sand, iron, electrical equipment, roofing sheets, glass and plywood used by the construction sector.

Apart from that, visitors as well as local constructors who are involved in the field will also get the opportunity to attend seminars, discussions and meetings with local and foreign construction experts on the new technology used by the global construction sector. Ceylon Institute of Builders, President Dr. Rohan Karunaratne said the forthcoming Construction Expo-2017 expects over 20,000 visitors during the exhibition period.

“This will also benefit all stakeholders such as building contractors, architects quantity surveyors , engineers and other related parties involved in the construction industry,” he said.

Speaking further Dr. Karunaratna said the event showcases products and services that help to interact with all the stakeholders and key service providers within the building and construction industry.He also said construction industry specialists from China, Singapore , Malaysia, UK and Japan will exhibit their latest technologies to participants at the exhibition.

Construction Expo Organizing Committee, Chairperson Prof. Chitra Weddikkara highlighted the forthcoming exhibition and said it is a showcase to all sectors involved in the construction industry. She also talked about Sri Lanka’s mega development construction projects that will come up in the coming years.

Lanka Exhibition and Conference Services (Pvt) Ltd, CEO Aasim Mukthar said visitors will be able to have discussions with foreign construction giants who , represent the ‘World Construction Symposium’ during the three-day event.He said Sri Lankan constructors as well as people have already focused attention towards the green building concept and they could see a separate exhibition stall area for ‘Green Buildings’. 




There are 3 Comments

Skilled workers do not happen in any country ,but the Government should have a comprehensive plan to train the school leavers and also encourage people to stay at the home front with wages that could meet the growing cost of living and inflation around them .The importation of labour would only make demands of the limited resources and like a catch 22 situation drive those locals to other parts of the world .It is sad indeed whilest our economy depends partly on the earnings of the exported skilled labour we are now making excuses to accommodate the influx of foreign labour brought in by the foreign contractors as per their stipulations with their own government policies ..Do not be patronizing just give us the answers to the problem in the local context with so many passing out of our colleges ..

Those workers engaged in the construction industry should be trained at the Technical Colleges of the country. Some of the workers cannot build a wall straight let alone 2 walls at a correct angle. However, the wages demanded by them is in the range of Rs. 3000 per day. This is highly unacceptable for the shoddy work performed. If high wages are demanded, work done should be of an exceptional standard. As the saying goes, Good things no cheap, Cheap things no good. Therefore, it should be made compulsory for those engaged in the construction trade to get proper training in the field by way of following a course at one of the many Technical Colleges in the island.

The solution to this problem is more trade oriented schools throughout Sri Lanka.The construction industry must seriously think of employing school leavers and train them to suit the requirements of the building industry.

Add new comment