From Iceland — Not Enough Workers To Meet Housing Promises

Not Enough Workers To Meet Housing Promises

Published June 8, 2022

Photo by
Silje Bergum Kinsten/ Commons

2,000 construction workers are needed to meet housing construction promises, reports RÚV.

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Despite a shortage of 2,000 construction workers, for a second year in a row, about 700 students will not be able to study at the Technical College.

To keep up with population growth, 3,500-4,000 new houses need to be built every year. More than 3,000 houses will be built this year.

“Just as there is a need for skilled tradespeople, we are turning away people who are applying for industrial internships,” says chief economist at the Confederation of Icelandic Employers, Ingólfur Bender. “Last year, more than 700 students were expelled, and the number is expected to be higher this year. This is very bad. The problem is not in the school system itself, because there is a strong will to do better. The government needs to put money into the system.”

“Something needs to be done about building a new technical college and even one more school in the capital area,” says chairman of Sameindar, Hilmar Harðarson. “Of course, we hope that it will be Icelandic industrialists who build all these apartments. It’s hard to see that happening at the moment.”

Increasingly it is more difficult to attract industrial workers from other countries and students in trade schools is decreasing in Iceland. In addition, this labour shortage is reaching other sectors besides construction; Iceland will need upwards of 9,000 workers for the tourism industry in the years to come.

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