CEO says Asia may be key to construction labor shortage

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The construction sector in Hungary is short of about 30,000 workers, and those positions can only be filled with a labor force from abroad. Ukrainians are already recruited by Western companies, so Hungary must look elsewhere, according to a leading CEO interviewed by business daily Világgazdaság.

In recent years, prices in the construction sector have grown, wages have stagnated, and companies are not spending on investments,  Sándor Scheer, CEO of construction company Market Építő Zrt., said in the interview with Világgazdaság.

Although subcontractors receive a fair amount of pay, the money does not reach employees, who still receive minimum wages: as a result, they are leaving the country en masse to seek better pay abroad. Greed also causes serious problems, Scheer added.

Western Europe has already employed skilled workers from Eastern countries, so there are no more resources there to ease the labor shortage, the CEO observed. Inviting Chinese, Vietnamese, Indonesian or Pakistani guest workers could become a "realistic option" within just 3-5 years, Scheer suggested.

Market Zrt., which has a staff of 827, including 237 engineers, is working on 42 projects at present. This year, it targets revenue of more than HUF 106 billion.

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