Is construction industry issues on the rise in Africa?

14 September 2015

The construction industry in Africa has been growing to become a key employment sector for both skilled and non-skilled personnel across the continent. However, in most instances, when mega construction projects are launched, few Africans find their way to the jobs. International contractors often come with their own construction staff to work on projects in Africa.

In Kenya, China Road and Bridge Corporation was forced to bring over 5000 workers into the country to help in the construction of the new standard gauge high speed railway. This is a clear indicator that the continent still lacks both skilled and non-skilled labor to carry out ongoing construction projects.

The crisis hitting the construction industry in Africa seems to be spiraling out of control as the current 70% of contractors available in Africa are struggling to fill roles for skilled staff so that they can complete their projects on time.

According to Kenya Railways Corporation MD Atanas Maina the skilled workers were brought in to deliver high quality work.

Many Chinese firms have defended their moves to bring workers from China to Africa, saying they won’t undertake projects with the current lack of skilled labour.

According to ManpowerGroup’s tenth annual Talent Shortage Survey, skilled trades and engineers remain the most difficult positions for companies to fill and when they do, the skilled person is difficult to retain because of their high demand from various firms across the continent.

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