Developing construction expertise

Increasing building skills
Advancing building contractors
Expanding available building expertise
The construction sector as a whole requires a higher percentage of skilled labour than manufacturing. In addition, good management and supervisory skills are important for the efficient execution of construction projects. In most developing countries, there is a severe shortage of all kinds of skilled labour for the construction industry. A large percentage of skills are not available locally. Moreover, apprenticeships and vocational training schemes appear to be grossly inadequate in both quantitative and qualitative terms. This means that a significant percentage of professional, managerial, supervisory and even craft skills are imported. It is common for local contractors to operate only on small residential project while the larger industrial and commercial projects are awarded to foreign-based construction firms, who remit most of the profits of out of the country.

The majority of small-scale firms are forced to operate informally because the construction in which they are involved does not comply with building and planning standards. This means they cannot participate in competitive tendering. They are also not in a position to take care of insurance, bonds, nor to secure sufficient working capital and/or materials credit to finance projects when payment by the client is delayed.

The UN Centre for Human Settlements recommends the following specific action to promote appropriate planning, design, construction and maintenance in the construction industry: (1) supporting research in appropriate planning and design techniques, norms and standards; (2) strengthening the capacities of training institutions to increase the supply of skilled construction workers; (3) making use of contracts with community-based organizations (CBOs) and the informal sector for construction and maintenance of housing and services; (4) providing training to professionals and practitioners to update their skills; (5) facilitating access to credit for the private construction sector at reasonable interest rates; (6) providing technical assistance to CBOs and other engaged in self-help.
Type Classification:
C: Cross-sectoral strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 1: No PovertyGOAL 2: Zero HungerGOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 4: Quality EducationGOAL 5: Gender EqualityGOAL 6: Clean Water and SanitationGOAL 7: Affordable and Clean EnergyGOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and InfrastructureGOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and ProductionGOAL 13: Climate ActionGOAL 14: Life Below WaterGOAL 15: Life on LandGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong InstitutionsGOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal