Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 01/09/2013 04:13 | By Channel NewsAsia

Labour shortage, low productivity may delay building of new flats

Labour shortage, low productivity may delay building of new flats


Labour shortage, low productivity may delay building of new flats

SINGAPORE: A shortage of foreign labour coupled with low productivity in the construction sector could delay the completion of projects such as the building of new flats.

Nee Soon MP Lee Bee Wah raised this concern, citing her own experience of delayed lift—upgrading projects in her ward.

Lift upgrading work in Ms Lee’s ward has been delayed for four months, affecting thousands of households.

Contractors say one of the reasons is shortage of manpower.

Ms Lee says she has called for meetings with the Housing and Development Board and the contractors involved, to discuss the problems the contractors faced.

In one of the meetings, the contractors had promised to increase the manpower to complete the lift project.

Despite that, not much progress was made.

Ms Lee says she would not hesitate to bar the contractors from doing future projects, as she feels the contractors did not take their work seriously.

As the Chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for National Development, Ms Lee says she is concerned such situations may affect other construction projects.

"If the supply of the foreign worker is reduced, and yet, the way the work is being done is not changed, I don’t see how they are going to improve the productivity. And in fact, I am worried. We are going to push out so many BTOs, perhaps, this shortage of foreign workers and there’s no change in improving productivity, in the way construction work is being carried out, it may affect the new BTO flats’ completion date as well," she said.

— CNA/de

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