Minister urges sponsors to give him a stall at ‘Construct 2017’ Exhibition

Presentation of the Platinum Sponsor's cheque for 'Construct 2017' Exhibition by EMP Holdings Ltd. in Colombo last week. (From left) Amara Dissanayake, (CEO- NCASL) , Pubudu Kamal Perera, ( Secretary NCASL), Darinton Paul, vice chairman NCASL , Chandranandana Diyunuge, chairman EMP Holdings Ltd, Ruwan de Silva, director-NCASL, Chandima Weerakkody, Minister of Skills Development and Vocational Training, Priyantha Galagoda, chairman-NCASL, and Susantha Liyanaarachchi, treasure- NCASL. - Photographer: Jude Denzil Pathiraja

by Sanath Nanayakkare

Chandima Weerakkody, Minister of Skills Development and Vocational Training recently urged a group of sponsors to give him a stall at the 'Construct 2017' Exhibition.

This exhibition is expected to attract over 30,000 visitors and 5,000 construction industry professionals.

The minister, in fact, asked for this stall at an event where the 17th edition of the 'Construct 2017' Exhibition, which will take place through August 25-27 at the BMICH Colombo, was announced to the media.

142 construction industry related companies will be exhibiting their products and services at this exhibition.

Addressing the National Construction Association of Sri Lanka (NCASL) and the sponsors of the event, the minister said," Construction industry stakeholders are reluctant to say in public about the shortage of skilled labour they face which hampers their industry's growth. But they tell policymakers at private meetings that the government needs to have a strategy to attract young people to join the industry by creating a platform to motivate them and train them to be skilled workers to take up high-paying jobs in the construction and engineering field. More over, construction industrialists tell us to remove the social stigma attached to jobs in the construction sector. In the light of such valid concerns, I think my ministry, the Skills Development Ministry should have a stall at your exhibition to directly interact with the visitors. Then my ministry can give the visitors an overview of the phenomenal growth potential the construction industry has, its rewarding job prospects, available training opportunities and how school leavers and other young men and women can pursue and benefit from lucrative careers in designing, building, quantity surveying, engineering etc. Such a stall at your exhibition will help address the industry's demand for young talent in the medium to long term".

Amara Dissanayake, CEO of NCASL speaking to The Island Financial Review said," If the government implements its Road Map for Investment Climate Reforms which was announced by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe recently, it would help encourage construction related FDIs into the country. If we enter into right terms of negotiations with the foreign companies as envisaged, local players will also be able to work with them to transfer their technical skills to the local workforce and also enhance the financial capacity of local construction companies by becoming partners of the projects. If you visit the exhibition you" ll see how innovative and up-to-date our local companies have become in their respective fields of expertise".

"The three-day exhibition is a valuable opportunity not to missed by anyone keen on picking up construction industry trends in 2017 and beyond," Dissanayake noted.

The 'Construct 2017' exhibition will include products and services from Malaysia, India, Pakistan and China providing endless possibilities and sparking the imagination of the thousands of visitors and industry stakeholders.

Construct 2017 has Electro Metal Pressings (Pvt) Ltd as Platinum Sponsor, Alumex PLC as Gold Sponsor, Deen Brothers Imports (Pvt) Ltd as Silver Sponsor and Elcardo Industries (Pvt) Ltd as Bronze Sponsor. It also has on board United Tractor & Equipment (Pvt) Ltd, Nippon Paint Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, D I Industries (Pvt) Ltd, St. Anthony's Industries, Malaysian Timber Council, Mirama Ceramics, Rhino Roofing (Pvt) Ltd, RCB Holdings (Pvt) Ltd, and Seylan Bank as main official partners.

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