SUNBIZ

How Can We Prepare For This Construction Boom?

Minister for Finance Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says the Government has heard the calls for the urgent need for look into the lack of skilled labour in the construction industry. Government is
06 Oct 2014 09:53
How Can We Prepare For This Construction Boom?

Minister for Finance Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says the Government has heard the calls for the urgent need for look into the lack of skilled labour in the construction industry.

Government is now taking this issue even more seriously and encouraging businesses and tertiary institutions to come up with ideas which would brace the country for more construction commencing soon.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum urged participants at the Special Budget Forum held in Suva on Saturday to come up with solutions which the Government can then factor into the 2015 National Budget.

“Airports Fiji Limited is doing a $102 million construction at Nadi Airport and then you have Momi Bay Resort starting in about three weeks time which is about $200 million,” he said.

“So there will be about 1000 people needed for both the projects at peak period. Are we geared up for that?”

One of the ways he suggested would be through the introduction of short term courses to be offered by tertiary institutes especially the Fiji National University.

This, he feels, would ensure more people get trained with the skill-sets necessary for the construction industry.

Training regime

Meanwhile, Fiji Commerce and Employers Federation chief executive, Nesbitt Hazelman, informed Mr Sayed-Khaiyum and the gathered participants that they federation was also encountering labour issues for its own building construction.

“Basically we can’t even find plastermen and we are building only a two storey building in Gorrie Street,” he said.

“So imagine what will happen when big buildings will start coming up. So that is something that needs to be discussed further.”

Mr Hazelman said his group felt that the current training regime in place did not support that growth.

He said this was something that needed to be looked at in terms of the capacity at the tertiary universities which was the ability to train these people.

Hospitality industry

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the need for labour was not only in construction, but also in the hospitality and services sector.

The tourism industry is a growing industry with new resorts being constructed and tourist numbers increasing.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum pointed out that the Momi Bay Resort will be completed in two years.

He said thought needs to be given to whether there is enough capacity at the Fiji National University and the University of the South Pacific to train people in the tourism and hospitality area to prepare them for this.

Feedback:  rachnal@fijisun.com.fj

 




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