Project delays: Labor rental firms ‘can help ease crisis’

Project delays: Labor rental firms ‘can help ease crisis’
Updated 02 February 2014

Project delays: Labor rental firms ‘can help ease crisis’

Project delays: Labor rental firms ‘can help ease crisis’

Several construction firm owners in the Kingdom, hit hard by labor shortage, are pushing for an increase in the number of labor recruitment firms to provide legal workers to expedite their projects.
Hundreds of thousands of foreign workers left the Kingdom during the amnesty period resulting in the suspension of construction activity in several projects.
The recruitment firms can also help boost the quality of the foreign work force, said industry experts.
Industry reports have stated that about 36 percent of construction projects had been delayed by labor crises following the crackdown against illegal workers.
There were 250,000 registered construction project contracts in the Kingdom before the first grace period to legalize expatriate workers ended on July 4 last year.
“We are waiting for labor recruitment firms to play a major role in importing expat construction workers to complete our projects which have been badly affected after the exit of thousands of our employees,” Abdul Aziz Masnour, a Saudi contractor, told Arab News.
Speaking to Arab News, Abdullah Radwan, chairman of the contractors committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), said: “We need time to activate the role of labor recruitment firms in the local market.
“These firms have started working in coordination with the Ministry of Labor which has started issuing visas for expat workers. However, labor recruitment firms need the expertise to train workers before they can close the gap between demand and supply.”
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Three recruitment companies have already started hiring out workers on short-term basis to construction companies.
Recruitment companies will supply workers for a year to construction companies and to other firms facing shortage of labor, industry experts said, adding that the move will provide some relief to the Saudi construction industry struggling with labor shortages.
The move is aimed at filling vacancies caused by the exit of thousands of expatriate construction workers over the past three months, the industry expert said.
Abdullah Radwan said last year that three recruitment firms that had been licensed to launch labor recruitment programs.
He said the program will provide workers on short-term (contracts) without having to transfer their sponsorships. Awad Al-Zahrani, a member of the recruitment committee at the JCCI, said a number of recruitment companies were preparing training programs for workers.