According to a Bloomberg analysis, Romania is now one of the hottest building markets in Europe as it has the money for its construction projects but not enough people to complete them due to labor shortage. In northern Bucharest, a crew led by Vasile Kocori scrambles to lash hundreds of steel reinforcement bars for the next section of yet another high rise that will grace the skyline of Bucharest. They work at Skanska Property Romania’s EUR 37 million Equilibrium project comprising two 11-story office towers.
According to the author, one of Kocori’s main challenges was to find the workers who could actually do it in the first place. Kocori ended up culling the most skilled from other projects and then directing the less experienced ones to other building sites across the Romanian capital. “Half the guys I have can do the job, while the other half need more training,” Kocori explains.
Another major project is located in mid-town Bucharest, where Israeli group Hagag Development Europe is transforming a former oil company headquarters into a modern seven-floor office building with an EUR 8 million rehabilitation – with 35 workers onsite.
Project manager Mr Alexandru Draghici said that the crew, all Romanians, may change as a decline in skill levels is exacerbated by an unwillingness to do “dirty and unappealing” labor. He said that “There still are enough workers, but I don’t know for how much longer. Construction is getting bigger and bigger and the workers are going away from the country.”