Critical Analysis of Construction Workforce Sustainability in a Developed Economy

Case Study in Hong Kong

Michael Sing, Vivian Tam, Ivan Fung, Henry Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


The construction industry in developed economies is suffering from a shortage of workers, triggering project cost escalations and project delays and suppressing the whole economy. This paper aims to explore the perceptions of the general public and construction workers towards workforce shortages in the Hong Kong construction industry and identifies the critical factors affecting their intention to join the industry. The triangulation approach was adopted in this study and a street survey was conducted in grass-roots areas in Hong Kong. The questionnaire was formatted using a five-point Likert scale and semi-structured interviews with ten experienced workers were used to validate and interpret the results from the street survey results. The triangulation approach found that ‘harsh working conditions’, ‘job instability’ and ‘lack of career prospects’ are the primary barriers dissuading the public to join the construction industry. This paper provides insights into the critical factors affecting the construction workforce supply and identifies possible solutions for maintaining a sufficient workforce.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)342-350
Number of pages9
JournalInstitution of Civil Engineers. Proceedings. Engineering Sustainability
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018
Externally publishedYes


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