Engineers alarmed at shortage of skills

Posted On Monday, 17 November 2003 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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Consulting engineers have voiced serious concerns about the shortage of skills in the profession

Construction IndustryConsulting engineers have voiced serious concerns about the shortage of skills in the profession, a problem which is set to expand with the anticipated increase in SA's economic growth rate.

As many as 90% of the South African Association of Consulting Engineers members, responding to a survey on the state of the industry, said they were faced with increasing difficulties in recruiting good quality engineering staff.

This was up from 69% in December last year.

The expected rise in economic growth, which economists estimate at between 3% and 5%, will require substantially more resources in the construction sector.

Consulting engineering companies would have to almost double their human resources in the next 10 years if SA grew at the expected rate, said the association's president, Craig Clarke.

The quality of building projects could be a casualty if demand outpaced the resources available, he said. Executive director Graham Pirie also warned that the ability to deliver new infrastructure could be "severely inhibited".

The survey showed that the number of new entrants to the job market were at all-time low. Pirie said the shortage of black engineers had been a problem for some time.

The latest survey, however, has shown that engineering firms are now finding it equally hard to recruit white engineers.

"In less than a generation SA may no longer have a skilled consulting engineering base capable of maintaining the current infrastructure or of developing new infrastructure," Pirie said.

Government and construction companies have also raised concern about the resources that would be needed in the expected upturn in economic growth arrived.

Neither government nor the private sector would solve these problems on their own.

"It's going to take a national effort to resolve this crisis," said the association's president.


Last modified on Friday, 25 October 2013 14:42

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