Sri Lanka’s Access short of construction labour

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Access Engineering said it faced shortages of skilled workers, and has started training schemes and had to import labour to complete projects.

"In common with the rest of the industry, the company faced serious challenges due to the scarcity of skilled labor," the firm told shareholders. "Faced with the situation, the company has, at times, resorted to engaging foreign labor in some of its large private sector projects.

"However, the company is addressing this problem by initiating its own training and development program, which is carried out at some of the vocational training centres including Don Bosco Technical Centre Facility in Negombo. Many persons have already been trained and absorbed into the permanent cadre under this programme."

The firm says training and skills development programemes are planned with the National Apprenticeship Board.

In the year to March 2016, the firm had revenue of 20.4 billion rupees, up from 17.6 billion a year earlier. Group employees rose to 3,237 from 2,625.

Sri Lanka’s unemployment is falling and aspirational workers are seeking higher salaries and going to the Middle East and East Asian countries like Korea and Japan with stronger currencies. Factories also have vacancies. (Colombo/Aug18/2017)

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