A lack of skilled workers

The head of the Balearic Builders Association, Sandra Verger, says that more than half of construction companies in the islands were forced to abandon certain works because they did not have enough qualified workers to carry them out. “Companies have enormous difficulties in finding workers with adequate training. The greatest difficulties concern masons, site managers, carpenters and assemblers of prefabricated structures.”

The shortage of skilled labour, she notes, comes at a time when seven out of ten euros EU Next Generation Fund will pass through the construction sector, one of the main objectives being the energy rehabilitation of the housing stock. “This represents a unique opportunity for economic recovery after the pandemic, but it risks failing if the sector is not able to cope with the lack of skilled labour. It is vital to attract and train the young people and to integrate people who have already been trained”. .”

Verger adds that “the construction will need hundreds of thousands of workers in the years to come to digital and ecological transition thanks to new technologies, energy efficiency, sustainability, digitization, robotics, home automation and modularization”. “It is therefore necessary to strengthen vocational training and promote it further.”

Given the current situation, the construction industry is considering recruitment from other countries. However, Verger acknowledges that there are a number of difficulties with this. “To work on construction sites, it is mandatory to take a course in occupational risk prevention and it is necessary to know the official languages ​​of the islands. This is a sector that involves risks at work, so you must fully understand the instructions given on construction sites.” Companies must also be able to certify that foreign workers have adequate training.

Mayra Argüelles of the installers association explains that its members have encountered “many problems in filling vacancies”. This was already the case in 2021 but has worsened this year. At present, approximately 1,000 employees are needed for electrical installation, air conditioning, telecommunications, plumbing, solar panels, charging points and fire prevention. To this current demand will be added future needs linked to the energy transition of the Balearic Islands.

While the employment service is called upon to set up appropriate training, the association has its own training centre. This offers three-month courses (380 hours) to obtain professional certificates, with which quick and guaranteed placement is possible”. However, and due to a serious lack of training, the association offers initial training of 90 hours, reinforced by occupational risk prevention programs.

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