The construction sector, a vital cog in the economy, has been severely affected by the global pandemic which has crippled work on some construction sites, leaving dependents at a standstill.
Low attendance, closure of project sites, worker health and welfare measures have increased the cost of construction companies who have been forced to postpone construction completion deadlines. Tudawe Brothers (Pvt) Ltd. chairman and managing director Rohan Tudawe said project site closures, worker health testing, low footfall and productivity have driven up the costs of building the business that are not refundable.
“Remote workers are not returning to work as they are discouraged by families due to the high possibility of exposure to the killer virus,” Tudawe said, adding that the breadwinner is not allowed to leave the home. if a family member is infected or suspected of having contracted the virus. He said the transportation of construction materials due to supply limitations and restrictions on cross-border movement had hampered the progress of work on the projects. “The shortage of construction workers is a problem that needs to be addressed at the local level, while the development of skills and crafts should start in school in addition to or even as a replacement for hands-on science lessons in laboratories. .
“Similar workshops in electrical, mechanical, civil and structural engineering modeling courses should be organized so that by their late teens they can be registered or licensed installers in their trade,” Tudawe helps.
He said anyone who achieves a high skill level would be eligible to pursue a higher national diploma in their fields and professions. Tudawe also said students could be trained to become contractors, self-employed, and specialize in their fields such as licensed bricklayer, tiler, finishing outfitter (polisher / painter).
“Once they are proficient they can be subcontractors and then specialist / professional traders,” Tudawe said, adding that the biggest downside is the uncertainty in the industry which could be overcome by the government. and the private sector by developing a dynamic and competent formalized sub-contractor. specialized subcontracting sector, drawing inspiration from the countries that practice it. He said the current system of “informal subcontracting” should be abolished by promoting specialized or formalized subcontracting which will help the industry to have a reliable and stable workforce to meet the demand. growing demand for workers in the sector. Tudawe Brothers is one of the oldest construction companies in Sri Lanka providing end-to-end solutions for residential and residential complexes, foreign missions, offices, shopping complexes, hostels, hotels, hospitals, educational institutions, highways, bridges, water supply and drainage. , irrigation, onshore stormwater drainage and other infrastructure works. The construction sector contributed around 7.4% of the country’s GDP in 2019, employing around 600,000 workers. The sector has grown rapidly in the development of high-end residential, commercial, hotel and resort spaces and infrastructure since the end of the fight against terrorism in 2009.
Despite being a key driver of economic growth, the construction industry is not without its problems.
The acute shortage of construction craftsmen and a formalized outsourcing sector with skilled workers have hampered the growth of the sector.
The construction sector accounts for 6% of global GDP and is considered a powerful stimulus for economic growth.
Inconsistencies in the system and procedures adopted by government departments, discrepancies between procurement guidelines for works and CIDA’s “Standard Tender Documents”, bureaucratic delay, unrealistic total cost estimates, withholding performance bond and bond under contract terms, late payment, unfair damages, low ranking in the Ease of Doing Business index are some of the problems faced by construction contractors in their interactions with government authorities.