The construction industry is one of the most criticised industries in the country, but the reality is that it contributes millions to the economy. In fact, this industry is an essential part of the country’s gross domestic product, as it exceeds 8%. Money, however, isn’t everything, and the many challenges existing within this industry and the safeguarding of health and safety in this regard were discussed during Popolin.
We spoke with Jesmond Chetcuti, President of the Malta Chamber of Construction. Asked what the biggest problem of the construction industry is in Malta, Chetcuti stressed that coordination of the work on construction sites is not being taken seriously. The speaker added that the person who handles coordination still does not have legal recognition, because certain contractors are choosing not to give due importance to project managers. Chetcuti believes the services of these managers during certain phases of projects should be mandatory for the work to be planned and carried out in the best way possible. It was also explained that the magnitude of the project should also be taken into consideration, and this in order to evaluate whether there is a need for a full-time manager.
Chetcuti added that with the introduction of a more regularised system contractors, architects, engineers and suppliers of certain services will be registered. This will automatically lead to project managers knowing the most suitable contractor or supplier according to a particular project. In this way, the risk of a client getting a bad deal will be reduced drastically.
Asked what the level of education should be for project managers, Chetcuti reiterated that he and the Chamber he represents believe the minimum should be a Bachelor grade in Construction Management. Discussions are presently ongoing with the Government for this law to be introduced.