Construction firms pledge to uphold good HR practices

Construction demand is expected to be sustained at between $25 billion to $34 billion a year for 2015 and 2016. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
Construction demand is expected to be sustained at between $25 billion to $34 billion a year for 2015 and 2016. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - As part of efforts to attract and retain local talent, 19 construction firms pledged their support for good human resource practices on Tuesday night, at the Singapore Contractors Association's (Scal) annual dinner.

The HR Pledge to which they committed includes 17 concrete actions to be taken, from having a buddy system for new employees to providing flexible work arrangements.

The Pledge is one of ten initiatives under a five-year roadmap to rebrand the built environment sector to attract local talent, launched in May and formulated by the Ministry of National Development, Building and Construction Authority, industry stakeholders and institutes of higher learning.

In his speech at the dinner, Scal president Dr Ho Nyok Yong said the association "strongly supports" the bid to transform the sector into "one that offers conducive work environments, better human resource practices, and meaningful careers".

Construction demand is expected to be sustained at between $25 billion to $34 billion a year for 2015 and 2016, he noted. But despite efforts to raise productivity, a shortage of manpower remains the industry's biggest challenge.

Foreign worker quotas are down and levies up, and there is also a scarcity of local talent. This means higher labour costs, while rental costs have also been rising. Against this backdrop, Dr Ho urged the association's members to be vigilant in bidding for projects and to ensure that all costs are included.