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Workforce crisis likely to delay construction works

Published : 21 Mar 2020, 02:39

  DF Report

DF File Photo.

The government has imposed restriction on the traffic at borders from Thursday, which will impact on the Finnish construction sector as a significant number of foreign workforce involved there, said an official press release.

The situation created following the coronavirus situation, which is completely new for the construction business as well.

The working group set up by the Ministry of the Environment on Monday will follow the situation in the housing and construction sectors, together with relevant partners and operators, and give proposals for necessary measures.

Besides the Ministry of the Environment, the working group has representatives from the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Confederation of Finnish Construction Industries RT, and Finnish Association of Building Owners and Construction Clients RAKLI.

Constant monitoring of the situation is necessary to be able to address all the questions that will arise.

“Obviously, there is no way the construction sector could have foreseen such drastic changes,” said Senior Ministerial Adviser Kirsi Martinkauppi.

“As much as a third of the workforce comes from abroad, so delays in construction schedules will be inevitable. At the moment we cannot say anything definite about when it is a question of a force majeure situation, in which case the deadlines and time limits of construction projects could be relaxed,” said the advisor.

From now on border crossing will only be allowed for those working in the critical sectors that are defined in the Border Guard’s guidelines, such as healthcare and transport personnel. Construction sector employees shuttling between two countries will have to stay in their home country for a longer time. Workforce in the construction sector will decrease, causing delays at construction sites.

In the Helsinki region 33% and in the whole country 20% of the workforce comes from abroad.