- POSTED: 09 Jan 2014 12:07
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Construction demand in Singapore is expected to remain strong this year, boosted by public sector projects.
SINGAPORE: Total construction demand in Singapore hit a historical high of S$35.8 billion in 2013.
The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) expects it to remain strong this year, with total construction demand projected to come in at between S$31 billion and S$38 billion.
Private sector projects made up almost 60 per cent of construction demand in 2013.
Private construction demand constituted S$21 billion of the total S$35.8 billion, while the remaining demand worth S$14.8 billion came from the public sector.
But in 2014, private demand is expected to moderate under property cooling measures.
Instead, public housing and major infrastructure projects are forecast to be key drivers of construction demand this year, making up almost 60 per cent of the total projected demand.
For 2015 and 2016, BCA said average construction demand is projected to be sustained at between S$25 billion and S$34 billion per annum. Sixty per cent of the total demand is forecast to come from building projects, while the remaining 40 per cent is expected to come from civil engineering projects.
But industry leaders said construction firms will have to work on improving productivity through adoption of newer technology, such as prefabrication.
John Keung, CEO of the Building and Construction Authority, said: “To address the concerns of rising manpower costs and the tighter labour market, it is very important for our consultants and builders to make full use of government funding to improve the way they build -- to use more technology rather than relying on workers -- to make sure that labour efficiency and productivity are really the key considerations in their projects."
Going forward, the industry will also be focusing on improving labour productivity.
Sponsorships and apprenticeship programmes have been targeted at grooming high-skilled local talent.
More than 500 scholarships at undergraduate, diploma and ITE levels were awarded last year.
BCA's recent employment survey showed that more than 60 per cent of the employment opportunities available for locals in the next 12 months are at the Professional, Manager, Executive and Technician (PMET) levels.
Lee Yi Shyan, Senior Minister of State for National Development and Trade & Industry, said: "I urge our firms to continuously upgrade the skills of our foreign workers.
"Over time, we should recruit and retain the more experienced, better skilled workers who are more productive, to alleviate the need to bring in more foreign workers to meet the higher construction demand."
Meanwhile, BCA also hopes to encourage better workmanship with the launch of its "Quality Mark Homes" mobile application, which aims to enhance home owners' awareness of quality standards for materials and designs.