Singaporean manpower market has been closed for Bangladesh as the country imposed restriction on South Asian countries due to severe form of corona virus pandemic.
From May 2, Singapore barred entry or transit for visitors with recent travel history to Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
This travel ban, which includes long-term pass holders, came amid a series of moves to tighten Singapore borders as the Covid-19 outbreak in India worsens and Singapore clocked more local coronavirus cases in recent weeks, the report said.
Singapore Education Minister Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs the Covid-19 multi-ministry task force, had acknowledged that this will have an impact on industries such as construction, and that many small- and medium-sized enterprises in Singapore and contractors will be affected.
The Building and Construction Authority on April 26 said that it will grant more flexibility for firms to bring in workers from China, among other support measures.
A manager in the construction industry said that the cost of hiring workers from China will “shoot up” as demand increases.
“The daily rate for a Chinese worker is about S$200 to S$300 per day,” the report quoted him as saying, adding the daily rate for workers from India or Bangladesh is about S$120 to S$150 now, up from S$70 to S$80 in the past.
Kenneth Loo, COO of Straits Construction, said that the situation is “very tight”, and manpower was short before the travel restrictions kicked in.

He estimates that there is a 30 to 40 percent shortage of workers currently.

The Singapore Contractors Association Limited (SCAL) said on April 23 that the labour crunch has already caused delay of construction projects for nine to 12 months, while the cost of labour and materials has escalated by 30 percent to 50 percent.

Companies in the landscape industry also said that they face a lack of workers, with some telling CNA that they have had to turn down projects.

Workers from India and Bangladesh do essential work such as grass cutting and tree works, Chairman Goh Eng Lam of Landscape Industry Association (Singapore) said.

He thinks there will be a 15 to 20 percent shortage of workers in the coming months.


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