Skill shortage killing Swedish construction sector


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Thursday, 12 May 2011
The competition for skills is on the rise in the Swedish construction sector as economic activities strengthen. On the face of things, the construction sector is heading for a boom, but there is one problem - skill shortages. A majority of construction companies in Sweden now see key labour shortages as an obstacle to their growth.

In the latest research prognostic performed and presented by the Swedish institute for economic research (NIER), it shows that as economic activities in the country picks up 60 percent of 247 companies pooled indicate the lack of competent staff as a barrier to their growth. At the same time there is increasing production and employment, a trend that is believe would be reinforced in the coming year.


Several industry representatives testify also that they could take on more work if they just got hold of the right workforce.
"We do not bid on projects in areas that we do not have the manpower. And if we had had more personnel we would have been able to win more projects, "said Tore Nilsson, a division head on construction company Peab, Sweden.

Already Swedish unemployment is declining and this goes in to add to the hardship in getting people trained to other sectors. The Swedish Construction Federation also confirms that it is difficult to get hold of highly skilled and experienced workforce that can work as site managers and project managers, and worst, it is in metropolitan areas. The pain would even be much in the coming years when more people retire.

"The issue of age has declined because people have worked longer before they retire due to labour shortages. In the very short term, retirement is likely to provide a dramatic impact, "said Lars Customs Manor, an expert on Swedish Construction Federation.

Skanska’s Sweden operations have defined a large recruitment needs for the future and need to recruit 2000 people by 2015.
"We have got very big jobs in Sweden that we will fill, such as the New Karolinska University Hospital and a new combined concert and congress hall in Malmo. In addition, we have to work with the Northern Link, "said Susan Westberg, personnel director at Skanska Sweden.
By Team

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