Developers should lead construction sector productivity drive: Lee Yi Shyan

Minister Lee Yi Shyan said that construction demand is expected to remain stable and sustained over the next 10 years. He urged companies to reduce their reliance on foreign workers.  ST FILE PHOTO:  KEVIN LIM
Minister Lee Yi Shyan said that construction demand is expected to remain stable and sustained over the next 10 years. He urged companies to reduce their reliance on foreign workers.  ST FILE PHOTO:  KEVIN LIM

Singapore's property developers should take the lead in boosting the productivity of the construction sector, Senior Minister of State for National Development Lee Yi Shyan said on Thursday.

"To transform the built environment sector, our developers must first take the lead to adopt more buildable designs and productive construction technologies for your projects," he said.

"Once the developers set the direction, the other stakeholders will follow."

Mr Lee, who is also Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry, said that construction demand is expected to remain stable and sustained over the next 10 years.

He was speaking at a seminar on the built environment and property prospects at Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel.

The Building and Construction Authority estimates that the total contracts to be awarded this year could reach between $31 billion and $38 billion.

Mr Lee also urged firms to reduce their reliance on foreign workers. Noting that about 70 per cent of the resident workforce in Singapore's built environment sector was above 40 years old, he added that the sector must start growing its talent pipeline now.

In addition, he encouraged firms to keep in mind the quality of their buildings.

Differentiation based on quality would set them apart from their competitors and allow for better returns and long-term sustainability, "which pure price-based competition erodes", he said.

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