Real estate is the third largest sector after agriculture and manufacturing to use migrant labour which has been affected by this lockdown at multiple levels – negligible sales, reverse migration of labour; higher wages for labour due to their low supply and now costs associated with skilling a new workforce that will emerge posts the lockdown. A sector twisted with trouble, the realty estate has been facing challenges for a long time in hiring employees, apprentices and daily wage workers. Especially, now post the COVID-19 lockdown, construction activities have come to a standstill and the migrant workers have been migrating to the relative safety of their hometowns.
With the majority of the migrant workers have left for home following the lockdown, the construction and real estate sector is now leaving no stone unturned to bring them back and re-start business activities even at the cost of increasing wages. While the Government has allowed partial relief to resume construction, the reverse migration of workers will deter companies from kick-starting the unfinished projects. Reports show that more than 40 per cent of migrant workers working in the property market has left for their hometown.
The real estate organizations now need to plan and budget for this up-skilling need for the new workforce that they have engaged. Workers will need to be skilled for the new normal at their workplace – physical distancing, health and safety guidelines, trade-specific skills, behavioural skills so that the business model of the realty sector changed from a traditional approach to a flexible business approach.
Mr Pradeep Aggarwal, Founder & Chairman – Signature Global Group & Chairman – ASSOCHAM National Council on Real Estate, Housing and Urban Development says, “Real estate is a sensitive work of art which requires skillful contribution from everyone involved in making the dream home take shape. Moreover post corona taking precautions and working while maintaining social distancing has become significant which needs training. Re-skilling makes them more efficient and eligible to get new work in times of corona when many of migrant workers are need of it.