27 April 2005

The Web

Angelo Xuereb laments shortage of skilled labour in construction

Julian Manduca

The shortage of Maltese skilled workers in the construction industry is affecting quality and deadlines, according to the president of The Federation of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors, Angelo Xuereb.
“The Federation of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors (FOBC) has given proof enough to the authorities that there are no available unemployed workers in our country in the construction sector,” Xuereb told this newspaper.
“This without doubt, leads contractors to employ foreign workers at a higher cost mainly due to the travelling expenses and their skills. The shortage of skilled labour is affecting the completion of projects on time.”
This is not the first time that Angelo Xuereb has called for the employment of skilled foreigners in the construction industry, and he explained why they are necessary: “With the exception of some major projects which have been and are still being constructed to international standards, in general, other construction work including finishes lacks detail.
“It is a definite requirement to have skilled workers in order to achieve higher quality standards and better detailing,” Xuereb said.
“Unfortunately, skilled Maltese tradesmen in the construction sector are diminishing rapidly. This is mainly due to the fact that fewer youngsters are willing to work in our laborious and climate-exposed conditions.”
Xuereb does not blame the young Maltese for not choosing to work on construction sites and said the FOBC is having discussions with the ETC and MCAST so as to help them establish training courses for all those who wish to join the industry.

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