Indian construction and real estate industry is set for an unparalleled growth, with increasing government spending in the sector. Today, the industry is experiencing an increased demand for construction engineers and technicians, but the reality is that developers and construction companies are facing acute shortage of skilled manpower.
A recent study by World Bank revealed that the Indian construction industry is likely to face 55-64% shortage of skilled workforce by 2015. It is high time that the industry lay special focus on limited availability of trained labourers for future growth, opine experts. A recently-concluded poll by ConstructionBiz360 also puts forward a similar opinion, as 100% voters feel that companies must devise ways to tackle the lack of experienced and capable manpower to execute new infrastructure and construction projects.
E Sreedharan, the managing director of Delhi Metro, complained about a “severe shortage of architectural and civil engineers in India.”
V B Gadgil, chief executive (Construction Division) at L&T, stated that the construction industry is finding it difficult to recruit the right skilled people, although there is abundant talent in the market but does not match the requirements.
According to a civil engineering professor at Jadavpur University, “Students do not want to enrol in this division because of a false notion that civil engineers need to work long hours under sun and the salary structure is also low, compared with verticals like IT.”
Training can bridge the gap
In order to address the problem of limited availability of trained workmen, construction companies and property developers can collaborate with reputed academic institutions to set up in-house training programmes.
“Since the industry has a predominance of migratory and unskilled labour, there is a need to expand training and skill certification programmes in terms of content and geographical reach,” opines P R Swarup, director general at Construction Industry Development Council (CIDC).
Going forward, increased government impetus on training, certification and upgrading of construction labour, coupled with parallel efforts from the industry will ensure a steady supply of skilled workers in the coming years.