The major challenges facing the construction industry are licensing, training and standards, said Master Builder Vijay Naidu on underscoring the importance of the upcoming CIC Conference.

Naidu, a chartered accountant for 25 years, with six of these as the CFO at Denarau with responsibilities that included developing the Port Denarau Shopping Centre and the Raddison Resort among others, is concerned about the future health of the construction industry.

 “This conference is the first time that the industry and Government together will have the opportunity to closely examine the challenges and possible solutions that we are facing for I have been told that its format focuses on open discussion among the delegates,” said Mr. Naidu.

He said that because there is no licensing, anyone could claim to be a builder.  It is like driving on the road without a license to drive.   If a driver does not know what he is doing, he can cause a serious accident.

“A builder without the credentials a license would require, can build someone’s home, for instance, using the wrong materials, the wrong techniques, and leave those that had hired him, in serious trouble.  The Consumer Council has already highlighted many times the homeowner complaints from this type of builder.

“There is a serious shortage of construction industry tradesmen and that includes carpenters.  We have had more than 45 years to train our industry and we still are facing serious shortages in almost all areas of construction. 

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