Serbia needs a construction development strategy

There are more than 100,000 active construction sites in Serbia. Last year the value of the works performed in the construction sector reached 5 billion euros and 6 percent of the gross national product. Although significant investments await us in the coming years, in addition to the fact that we do not have enough workers, because they are going to Western Europe, Serbia does not even have a strategy for the development of the construction industry, which is considered everywhere as a driver of economic development.

Construction workers

Wages in construction are still below the national average (Photo: Pixabay)

Today is 160,000 employees in the construction sector. There are not enough domestic workers, so more and more labor is being imported, RTS reports.

– We have a trend that speaks of this investment wave, more and more workers are coming to carry out works and to find work in our country primarily from the region and from Turkey, India, Bangladesh, and indeed Serbia in that sense somewhat resembles the developed countries of Western Europe, said Minister of Construction Tomislav Momirović for RTS.

The construction industry in Serbia has more than 11,000 registered companiesand the share of that sector in GDP is six percent.

– The number of permits, the number of buildings being built is constantly growing, on the construction material market, exports are growing compared to imports, employment is growing, and wages are growingsaid Ivana Vuletić from the Association for the Construction Industry of the Serbian Chamber of Commerce.

Wages in construction are rising, but still less than the national average. The average salary in the first half of this year is 62,000 dinars.

We will lose our young workers who were trained in construction. I know secondary schools in Serbia, where there are 700 of these people each who come, take exams to get trades and go to work abroad, from welders to carpenters and rebar workers, Saša Torlaković, president of the Construction Workers’ Union, told RTS.

There are not enough civil engineers either.

– I think it is important for young people to recognize that they will have work to do in the coming decades, because we are obviously going to have to invest billions of euros in all these facilities and projects that we have started, so there will be no problem for employment. What is important is that they would not go abroad if theirs improve the material situation, so that the working conditions are better, said prof. Dr. Vladan Kuzmanović, Dean of the Faculty of Civil Engineering in Belgrade.

In order to maximize the potential of the domestic construction industry, the development of Serbia’s construction industry until 2040 should be directed by the Development Strategy, based on the principles of sustainable development and circular economy.

– We have to build wastewater treatment plants. Due to the energy crisis, we will have to invest intensively in energy facilities. First of all, reversible hydropower plants, pumped storage plants, then solar parks, wind farms. In order to realize all that, so that we don’t make mistakes, we need that strategy of the Serbian construction industry“, Kuzmanović pointed out.

Our construction companies used to build a lot around the world. Today is only 1.9 percent of the works were carried out on construction sites abroad, and foreign companies are the carriers of the largest jobs on our construction siteswhile our companies are mostly subcontractors.

Source: – VESTI by

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