Infra sector to face huge shortfall of professionals: Report
Mumbai: The infrastructure sector is likely to face shortage of a whopping 3 million professionals by 2022, which is likely to have an adverse impact on project delivery and cost, a survey has said.
There will be a shortage of 3 million professionals, including project managers, civil engineers, planners, surveyors and safety experts, by 2022, according to a joint report by Project Management Institute (PMI) and global consultants KPMG.
"Infrastructure plays a paramount role in the economic growth of a country. Investments in the sector have been growing on a consistent basis. However, the severe skill shortage and the growing demand-supply gap for qualified construction professionals are affecting the sector," PMI India Managing Director Raj Kalady said in the report.
The growth of skilled and semi-skilled manpower has not kept pace with the expansing in infrastructure projects, he added.
Quoting a World Bank report, Kalady said India's construction industry is expected to face a labour shortage of 18-28 percent if the country grows at a medium rate and a shortage of nearly 55-60 percent if we see high growth.
"The dearth of qualified white collar professionals is a challenge to the infrastructure sector as they prefer alternative career options in lucrative industries such as IT and financial services."
He observed that the situation could aggravate further as the country's current education system is unable to deliver the required number of specialists across the project management value chain.
Besides, the initiatives from the Centre and states such as the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act and Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission, have constrained the availability of skilled labour for some projects, the report maintained.
"These initiatives have created employment opportunities for labourers in their local areas, minimising the need for them to travel to the project sites in search of livelihood. This has constrained the availability of skilled manpower for projects in different states," Kalady said.
Further, unresponsiveness, strikes and extended holidays hamper the timely project execution, he said.
To meet the talent crunch for highly critical jobs, many companies are now hiring foreign professionals. Many organisations are also looking at short-term training programmes to enhance the skill sets of their project teams.
"The Government, too, realises the urgency of meeting the skill dearth. During the 12th Plan (2012-17), the Government plans to focus on improving project management skills across the country. But at the same time, there is also a pressing need for industry and academia to introduce project management into their curriculum," he noted.