New sources of workers found

03 Jan 2013

Constructions workers will now be sourced from Sri Lanka and the Philippines to boost supply in Singapore. Workers from these countries speak English, thereby helping to improve communication on the construction site.

The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) told MediaCorp that two test centres will be set up in Sri Lanka while approvals are being sought to establish test centres in the Philippines.

The main sources of foreign construction workers in Singapore are from China, India and Bangladesh.

Neo Choon Keong, Group Director – Manpower and Strategies Policy, BCA, said that with fast development and rise in jobs in major source countries such as China and India, the number of workers available for work in Singapore is going down.

“We are working with the industry to open up new sources to locate skilled workers, notwithstanding our efforts to reduce the numbers of foreign workers overall through the adoption of technology as well as better building designs,” Neo added.

Infrastructure development such as expanding the rail network and building more flats and health-care facilities have caused the demand for foreign construction workers in Singapore to remain strong in the years ahead, rising from 250,000 in 2011 to about 280,000 in the next two to three years.

Foreign construction workers have to go through a rigorous training regime at test centres in their country, consisting of a full-time programme lasting between three and six months. Only seven out of 10 of these workers eventually pass the test.

After the training, potential workers have to go through a five-hour practical test on essential craft skills as well as a one-hour theory test on trade knowledge.

Besides bringing in better quality construction foreign workers, the BCA also has a comprehensive training framework to continuously upgrade them. Some 12,000 have upgraded their skills through these various programmes.

Leave your comment
Start a new discussion

HRM Asia forum is the place for positive industry interaction and welcomes your professional and informed opinion.

Post a Comment
HRM Asia welcomes your contribution. Your IP address is recorded in the event of a complaint.
Name *
Email *
(required, but will not display)
Comment *
Please enter in the numbers in the box left.
You are about to submit your comment. Is it:
  • Professional
  • In your own name or pseudonym, not impersonating someone else
  • Free from rude language
  • Free from advertising
  • If you prefer not to post but are still keen to get your viewpoint across, you can always e-mail the editor.
  • 30 Sep | DN & Associates Executive Search | Singapore
    27 Sep | Kerry Consulting | Not Specified
    27 Sep | Kerry Consulting | Singapore
    MSD: Building a case for sustainable leadership development
    Lisa Yeo, Managing Director, Singapore, MSD, shares how organisations should carefully utilise resources so as not to deprive the next generation of future leaders
    UBS: Journey towards becoming Employer of Choice
    Gamification and story-telling at Sabre Holdings
    TTSH: HR leading the health drive
    Performance Leadership Pte Ltd |
    Lunch, Learn and Bond with your teams, all within 1 hour! Choose from a variety of light-hearted, interesting or thought-provoking topics that appeal ...
    Performance Recognition Pte Ltd |
    A monthly business incubator where leaders grow their skills, exchange ideas and share best practices.
    Glides Consulting Partners Pte Ltd |
    Achieving Key Organizational Results Through Greater Individual and Organizational Accountability