As the construction industry is cyclical in nature and mostly depends on economic policy pronouncements likes other industries, is used to adapting to skills shortages and skills gaps in the short term. this is because of skills mismatches and recruitment difficulties among others.
According to Shakantu et al. (2000) the construction sector in Zambia consists of five main sub-sectors, namely, the design, assembly, manufacturing, supply and clientele. The Zambian construction industry deals with the delivery and maintenance of buildings and infrastructure such as roads, railways, airports, bridges, dams and power stations.
All these sectors require a substantial skilled workforce. This is according to a paper published the university of Zambia titled “CONSTRUCTION SKILLS REQUIREMENT ISSUES IN ZAMBIA”
In construction and specialist contracting there is a shortage of suitable younger workers to replace mature workers who are retiring. young people, the traditional recruitment pool for construction, are choosing to stay in continuous academic study.
A further disincentive is the perception of the industry as one of hard-working conditions and low pay. Shortages arise from a general lack of applicants and employer dissatisfaction with the skills of those who come forward. Skills lacking amongst applicants for skilled craft jobs are technical and practical skills (other than IT) and customer service skills. Skills shortages may mean businesses are making do with inferior labour. Cost competition has held back wage inflation and in the face of skills shortages businesses are making do with inadequately skilled labour. However, this is having an adverse effect on customer service, increasing operating costs, and resulting in a loss of business to competitors also come to be known as the Chinese investors.
In terms of institutional framework, the National Policy on Construction Industry (1996) policy callled for establishment of the National Construction Council (NCC) to modify standards and legislation for the construction industry and Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training (TEVETA) to crafts and technical skills and most importantly to install entrepreneurship mindset in the students to enable them to be self-reliant.
Authored by; Eng. Kunda Kunda
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of Melo Media Zambia.
© 2021 copyright all reserved Melo Media Zambia | Email: [email protected] | www.melomediazambia.com | WhatsApp Only: +260969535044