Manpower

Ar Apurva Bose Dutta

First the good news – India's Construction Sector is booming and the demand for real estate as a result of unprecedented urbanization is growing at an enviable rate. The bad news – the realty and construction sectors are facing a grave situation of manpower shortage. For such an upsurging demand, whether it is skilled or unskilled manpower – the sector needs both of them equally and unfortunately, the sector has unavailability of both of them. Many realty projects have witnessed indefinite delays due to such shortage especially labour shortage which also leads to more expensive manpower. This invites an additional financial encumbrance which finally affects the cost of the real estate, affecting in turn the buyers. While unskilled manpower crunch has hit the construction sector the most, there exists skilled manpower shortage too for jobs like Project managers, Mid-level engineers, Equipment operators etc. The supply of skilled and unskilled manpower for the construction sector is being estimated of falling short by over 10 million.

Sachin Sandhir
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the world's leading professional body for qualifications and standards in land, property and construction, in a recent research titled 'Real Estate and Construction Professionals in India by 2020' has revealed a startling demand-supply gap of 82-86% in the core profession of civil engineers, architects and planners. Mr Sachin Sandhir, Managing Director, RICS South Asia, adds, "The construction and infrastructure sectors have been reeling under the pressure of rising input costs of materials, which have steadily increased by as much as 30% over the last few years. Inflationary pressures and high interest rates, coupled with a severe shortage of semi-skilled and unskilled manpower have adversely affected the performance of the sector and resulted in execution challenges with project delays becoming common place."

Why the Shortage?

Causes for manpower shortage are multitude – one of them being the inadequate training due to lack of specialized courses, standardized curriculums and professional faculty. The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has validated the fact that of a total workforce of about 440 million, only about 12.5% has received some kind of formal/informal vocational or education training.

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