Turkiye: Contractors hire foreign workers amid labor shortage

Turkish construction companies have started to recruit workers from other countries due to labor shortages, says Erdal Eren, the president of the Turkish Contractors’ Association (TMB).

The companies are having problems finding skilled laborers and workers, according to Eren.

“Let alone sending workers from Türkiye to work at projects abroad, we have started to bring people from Vietnam and the Philippines to our construction sites,” he said, speaking at the Real Estate Summit organized by Real Estate Investors Association (GYODER) in Ankara.

To date, Turkish contractors have undertaken more than 12,00 projects worth $509 billion in 139 countries, according to Eren.

“But we have a staffing problem… Some 3 million young people are admitted to universities each year. We are directing everyone to universities without looking at what kind of employment we will need in the coming years,” Eren said, calling for changes to the education system to address the labor shortage problem.

There were 1.74 million paid employees in the construction sector as of March,according to the latest data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK).

Employment in the construction sector increased by 9.3 percent year-on-year, but on a seasonally adjusted basis, the number of employees fell by 0.1 percent monthly.

The construction sector grew by 11.1 percent in the first quarter of 2024 compared with the same period of last year, after expanding by 10.8 percent in the previous quarter, the latest GDP data showed. Last year, the construction sector grew 7.8 percent after contracting 7.1 percent in 2022.

The share of the construction sector in Türkiye’s national income rose from 5.5 percent in the final quarter of 2023 to 6.2 percent in January-March 2024.

Source: hurriyetdailynews

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