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Ministry: Construction workers must upskill

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Cambodian labourers work on a high-rise building construction site in Phnom Penh. Hong Menea

Ministry: Construction workers must upskill

Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training official Teang Sak on Wednesday urged the private sector to work with the government in improving the skills of workers to meet the needs of the fast-growing construction sector.

Sak, the director of the ministry’s Department of Standards and Curriculum, was speaking at the 2nd National Contractor Competition to Upskill Local Builders held in Phnom Penh.

The competition was organised by SCG Trading (Cambodia) Co Ltd, a subsidiary of the Bangkok-headquartered Siam Cement Group Pcl (SCG).

There has been a rise in demand for skilled workers with the Kingdom’s construction sector developing rapidly over the past few years, he said.

“Our goal is to establish a partnership between the public and private sectors to provide capacity building and training to produce more skilled labour for the sector.

“We urge the private sector to help in providing capacity building for our workforce. With more skills, they can boost the productivity of their companies. We want our workforce’s skill levels to be comparable with other countries in the region.

“That’s why we have selected talent from all provinces to join the competition. The main purpose of the competition is for the participants to demonstrate their capabilities. If they win, they will get to have an on-site visit and receive first-hand experience from experts in other countries in the region,” Sak said.

‘Latest technology and skills’

SCG general manager for sales and marketing Wirot Phanitphotchamarn said Cambodia’s construction sector has grown dramatically, leading to more opportunities for investors and businesses.

“Cambodia has seen very strong economic growth over the last few decades. However, the construction boom has brought about a lot of high-rise buildings, which require a larger labour force for the sector.

“SCG has observed that there is a need to produce more skilled labour for the sector in response to the rapid development. That’s why SCG has been involved over the years in providing training for young people here – to contribute to the development of the sector.

“I have experience in Thailand’s construction sector, where new technology is always being introduced. SCG has brought the latest technology and skills to Cambodia, meaning that construction workers will be more efficient. They can acquire new skills and more advanced technology to make their jobs easier,” Wirot said.

A recent report from the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction said investment in the construction sector soared 34.7 per cent year-on-year in the first nine months of this year.

Investment reached $6.5 billion across 3,433 projects, which occupy more than 13 million square metres. During the same period last year, it reached $4.8 billion across 2,541 projects.

The report noted that from 2000 to the end of September this year, the ministry approved 46,991 construction projects – which cover more than 126 million square metres – with total investment of more than $48 billion.

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