Huge labour shortage in Hungary's construction sector

In consideration of the new orders expected to come in, there are about 10,000 to 15,000 workers missing from Hungary’s construction sector, President of the National Federation of Hungarian of Construction Contractors (ÉVOSZ) told public television M1 on Monday. The federation expects output to rise by 15% year on year in 2017, he added.
Nearly 80,000 workers left Hungary’s construction sector between 2007 and 2013 during the crisis years. Their numbers have increased again over the last few years and now there are 286,000 of them in the sector, László Koji said. Skill shortage is the most pressing in the capital city and its surroundings, because upturn in the sector is the most prominent there. As a consequence, though, incompetent businesses have also sprouted on the market, he added.

Koji expects the market to be cleansed within two to three years and only those construction companies will remain afloat in the long term that deliver on schedule and in appropriate quality.

In order to solve the shortage of professionals, the training institutions need to be switched to vocational training, as workers from other sectors and those currently employed in public works could be taught useful knowledge within a short period of time, he recommended.

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The head of ÉVOSZ thinks favourable developments started in terms of carrousel fraud in the construction sector: it is becoming an increasingly rare phenomenon that instead of a long chain of subcontractors, actual work starts only at the third or fourth subcontractor. It is also improving the sector’s situation that improvement can be observed both in the organisational culture and the application of information technology tools, Koji added.

Koji pointed out that those putting in the order often have no knowledge of planning, contracting and execution therefore they should not try to save by hiring unqualified staff.

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