The Sarawak Housing and Real Estate Developers' Association (SHEDA) is urging the state government to place more emphasis on training to produce skilled local workers for the housing industry.
SHEDA's Sibu branch chairman, Cecil Lau Ning Kiang said the demand for housing was expected to rise with the introduction of the state government's Sri Pertiwi Affordable Housing Programme for the low (B40) and middle (M40)-income groups.
“We are facing a shortage of skilled labourers as Sarawak continues to develop. Many of the existing skilled labourers have either moved to other parts of the country where their skills are in great demand or left the profession altogether,” he said.
Speaking at SHEDA Sibu Home & Property Roadshow 2018 at Wisma Sanya on 23 November, Lau said the training could include upgrading of skills or retraining of those labourers already involved in the construction industry so as to further improve their skills towards raising the quality and efficiency of the construction processes.
“This can mitigate issues such as delays and poor quality of workmanship, which are some of the issues brought before the housing tribunal,” he said, adding that the government could make use of the several institutions of higher learning for the purpose.
"SHEDA is willing to contribute and work with the state government by drawing up training programmes, providing job placements, and holding research and industrial talks by manufacturers and professionals for the benefit of all stakeholders.
Earlier, Lau congratulated the state government for launching the Sri Pertiwi Affordable Housing Programme guidelines that allow developers to participate in providing affordable housing to the lower-income group.
Under this housing programme, expected to be launched as early as next year, the maximum selling price of landed property will be RM270,000 (intermediate unit) and RM295,000 (corner unit), and high-rise unit at RM295,000.
The opening of the three-day roadshow was officiated by Assistant Minister of Education, Science and Technological Research, Dr Annuar Rapa'ee.