Women Power

June 22, 2007 (LBO) – More women are joining the construction industry, attracted by the higher wages that have risen with the boom in building activity, a senior industry official said. Dakshitha Thalgodapitiya, Secretary General of the Chamber of Construction Industry (CCI), said new training centres being set up by the organisation were attracting female labour.

“We noticed in our Matara centre that we’re getting a lot of female trainees to work as carpenters and even machine operators.”

The CCI is setting up craftsmen training centres to meet a serious shortage of skilled labour that is affecting the industry.

“Unfortunately, in Sri Lanka we have not given priority to gender equality,” Thalgodapitiya told LBO in an interview. “But I believe more women are entering the trade in these areas because they are looking for more lucrative livelihoods.”

Wages in the construction industry have gone up in recent years because of the construction boom and migration of skilled craftsmen to the Middle East which has created labour shortages in the island.

“Craftsmen in the construction industry now earn much higher wages than they used to, although it is not fashionab