Building DISASTER: Laymen build because experts are gone
There is an increasing number of unqualified construction workers at construction sites in Serbia, since all experts, from builders to engineers, went abroad, warns the Trade Union of Construction. An average worker at a construction site is 55 years old and he is often not a citizen of Serbia. There is also a significant number of those who are not registered workers. The massive departure of construction workers abroad continues, because salaries are much higher there, and uncertainty is lower. The posts of those who went abroad are filled by workers from neighboring countries, Turkey, and even from distant counties. At the moment, their number in Serbia is estimated at more than 10,000. Goran Rodic of the Serbian Chamber of Construction says that such workers usually hide from inspection supervisors, stressing that their professional skills are at a low level. “Injuries at work are not reported to avoid problems with the law,” Rodic said. He warns that there is almost no high quality construction staff in Serbia. “There is no more crafts elite in Serbia – good craftsmen, operators, technicians, engineers. Everyone who gained knowledge and experience went abroad,” says Rodic. According to him, there are major problems in maintaining the system of high and infrastructural facilities. The growth in daily wages of builders, which range from 50 to 100 euros, is reflected on the rise in apartment prices, but it did not attract more young people.
The Trade Union of Construction warns about the difficult situation in that area, pointing out that there are unskilled workers at construction sites.
“The disaster in construction has led to severe consequences for workers who often get injured or killed. In the last case, at the construction site in Cika Ljubina Street in Belgrade, a pensioner was killed,” says president of the Trade Union of Construction, Sasa Torlakovic.
He points out that people who now work at construction sites are teachers or lawyers by profession who do not know anything about construction. “They come to earn 20-euro daily wages in order to feed their families,” Torlakovic said.