DOLE Plans to Create Multi-skilled Talent Pool for the Construction Industry
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DOLE Plans to Create Multi-skilled Talent Pool for the Construction Industry

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) aims to place multiskilled construction workers in a talent pool from the construction industry in the Philippines to resolve the shortage of talent in the sector. Since 2018, delays in housing development attributed to the growing shortage of skilled workers in the Philippines as more opt to go overseas in pursuit of better opportunities.

Last year, the Organization of Socialized and Economic Housing Developers of the Philippines (OSHDP) stated that industry players are facing difficulties in employing skilled laborers in the construction industry, specifically in housing development. Because of the labor shortage, the asking price increased for skilled workers in the sector, such as but not limited to plumbers, steel men, welders, carpenters, and mason.

With the lack of skilled workers in the construction industry, it also delayed the administration’s Build, Build, Build program. President Rodrigo Duterte addressed the problem last February 16, 2019, saying that there is a lack of qualified workers although there are a lot of job opportunities in the country.

“Alam mo, dito sa Pilipinas ngayon, maraming trabaho. Sa Davao ganon rin. Ang construction humihinto kasi walang trabahante. O sinong trabahante ‘yan? (Here in the Philippines, there are a lot of job opportunities today. The same goes for Davao. The reason why construction work frequently halt because there is a lack of [construction] workers, and who are these workers?) Master Electrician, master carpenter, master plumber,” he said.

Creation of Talent Pool aims to Talent Shortage in the Resolve Construction Industry 

The labor agency plans to encourage existing construction workers to learn additional skill sets related to their industry and maximize their employment in any construction projects. As an example, the Bureau of Local Employment (BLE) Director Dominique Tutay says that a construction worker may possess different skillsets to work on their construction project through various roles.

“Usually, the contract of construction workers end once their role in the project ends. If they have multiple roles, they will be employed in the project longer,” she said. Tutay also believes that construction workers are probably easier to train in other construction-related functions because of their experience in various workplaces in their industry. The plan will allow construction projects to gain access to a flexible talent pool full of multiskilled workers.

“They are already able to witness the said skills based on the works of their colleagues in the same [construction] project,” Tutay said.

The Local Employment Director earlier said the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) is facing difficulty in attracting trainees because of the impression that jobs in the construction industry are labor-intensive. Factors such as meager salaries and poor access to certification programs attributed to the shortage of workers in the sector.

TESDA vows to increase the number of trainees with plans to take up construction courses by forging a partnership with the  Department of Trade and Industry (DTI). Tutay mentioned DOLE would also organize a summit together with the DTI and TESDA to identify the labor demands and concerns of the construction industry.

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