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NACE 2002 - 45 Construction

Construction is a very important industry in the Czech Republic accounting for some 9% of total employment. However, a falloff in construction output will cause a decrease in employment in the following years.

In 2006-2008 the construction industry reached a peak in terms of total output and also in terms of the pace of growth. This was the result of large demand both on the part of the private sector (construction of housing facilities, industrial projects, office and commercial facilities) and the public sector (transport projects).  At present we witness a slowdown in the private sector demand for housing and office space, demanding industrial facilities and shopping centres, which is one of the consequences of the global economic crisis. On the other hand, the construction of transport and water management facilities will remain stable, particularly due to the availability of extensive financial resources from European funds. In the course of the following two years demand for housing is expected to rise again, which will contribute to a longer-term stability of the construction industry.

Viewed from this angle, construction faces good prospects, although the labour market situation is more complex. Due to low pay levels and weak interest on the part of young people in employment in this industry there is expected to be a large outflow of labour force in the upcoming years. This decrease will be partially made up for by the (already extensive) emplyoment of foreigners, but still, there may be a major decline in the number of workers in the industry.

The construction industry suffers from a shortage of good quality craftsmen, which is the result of a generally declining attractiveness of vocational training programmes without “maturita”. In view of the changing preferences of the new generations entering the labour market it will be very difficult to alter this trend. However, we should stress that construction  trades have better prospects in the long term as compared to jobs in the assembly plants of industrial companies, and they are not facing the threat of being moved to countries with cheaper labour.  Low-skilled auxilliary jobs will certainly be filled by foreign workers, but Czech employees have good prospects as regards jobs requiring higher levels of specialist knowledge, customer communication skills and responsibility. New occupations where demand will exceed supply will include, for example, those combining knowledge in various fields (construction/electrical engineering/automation technologies) and those focusing on new construction market trends (intelligent buildings, energy savings).

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