Aug 22, Colombo: The Building and Construction Authority (BCA) of Singapore says Sri Lanka has quality skilled workers for construction industry and can be a major supplier of construction workers to Singapore.
The Singapore authority bases its observation on the Sri Lankan workers' experience and ability to speak English.
Singapore has opened an Overseas Training Centre in Colombo, a first in the country, to train and test Sri Lankan construction workers first before hiring them for employment in Singapore.
Already over 100 workers have taken the training and the tests with the hope of passing the tests and getting employment in Singapore.
Testers will be looking for the quality of work, functionality and safety habits of the candidates.
Singapore's Fonda Construction credits the support of the Sri Lankan government for the success of the new training center. Several hundred candidates are screened every month before they are accepted into the center to receive the training.
The director of Fonda Construction Melvin Ong told Channel News Asia that they look for candidates who possess similar skills, similar trades as in Singapore.
"We are looking at the level of understanding of English from the candidates, and the skills, and experience they have," Ong said.
BCA's group director of Manpower & Strategies, Neo Choon Keong has said that Sri Lanka workers not only have the relevant experience, but also higher skilled.
"Therefore, we see the strong potential for Sri Lanka to become a major source in terms of the skilled foreign construction workers supply as compared to existing sources like India and Bangladesh," the director was quoted by the Channel News Asia.
The BCA plans to open three more Overseas Training Centers in Colombo and they will be operational by early next year.
Meanwhile, the first batch of workers trained and tested from Sri Lanka is expected to arrive in Singapore next week.