Housing industry facing skilled labour shortage

DR Annuar Rapa’ee (third left), Cecil (second left) and others cutting the ribbon to officiate the opening of Sheda Property Roadshow 2018.

SIBU: Sheda members are now facing a shortage of skilled labour as Sarawak continues to develop, with demand forecast to rise, according to association vice president, Cecil Lau Ning Kiang. He therefore hoped that the government would place more emphasis on training more quality skilled local labour to meet the demands of the housing industry and to address the shortage of skilled labour.

Many of the existing quality skilled labourers have either moved to other parts of the country where their skills are in great demand or left the profession altogether, he added. “The training could include upgrading the skills or retraining of those labourers already in the involved in the construction industry. It is hoped that the training and ‘re-training’ would not only improve the skills of the labourers, it also serves to improve the quality and efficiency of the construction processes at the same times.”

“Thus, it could mitigate the issues such as delay and quality of the workmanship, which are some of the issues brought before the housing tribunal,” said Cecil at the opening of Sheda Property Roadshow 2018. In Sibu division alone, he said there are several institutions of higher learning in place and the government could look into the best way to make use of those facilities. “And we could make use of the local expertise, some of whom are trained overseas, or with overseas experience,” he said.

He explained that Sheda (Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers Association) on its part is willing to contribute its part and work with the state government in setting up the training programs, job placement, research, industrial talks by the manufacturers and professionals for the benefits of all the stakeholders. With the proper collaboration, he said Sheda hopes that the expansion of the construction industry as a whole will continue to indirectly support and benefit many other industries.

“The housing development, creation of jobs, the flow of capital, the natural resources would all combine to bring about more sustainable growth in the central region. These are the positive factors for Sibu and the surrounding divisions,” he said. “When we touch on the issue of housing, we have in mind the affordable homes. Sheda Sibu wishes to congratulate the state government in launching the ‘Sri Pertiwi’ guidelines that allow developers to participate in providing affordable housing to lower income group, with house prices determined by the government.”

“Sheda members would support this latest initiative by the state government. As a housing project would take several years from its inception to completion, the Sri Pertiwi scheme is expected to be launched as early as next year,” he said. The Sheda Property Roadshow 2018 is being held on the ground floor of Wisma Sanyan here for three days starting yesterday until Sunday. The opening of the roadshow was officiated by Assistant Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research, Dr Annuar Rapa’ee. According to Cecil, the roadshow is an avenue for its members and developers generally to show their latest project and products. He said the public could take this opportunity to see for themselves the latest products, and talk to them, let them answer any queries that they have.