Shortage of Skilled Labour in TRNC

North Cyprus News - Building Site (2)
[Building Site – File Photo]
Friday, 1 September 2023

The TRNC is desperately short of skilled workers and there have been calls for local vocational training, particularly in the building sector, Yeniduzen reports.

According to Cyprus Turkish Construction Contractors Association (KTİMB) President Cafer Gürcafer, the majority of workers in the country are from Pakistan; they are unskilled and do not speak Turkish.

He added that, “Labour from Turkey no longer comes to our country, we have difficulty finding qualified employees even among workers from third world countries“.

Explaining that there are many unregistered workers working in the country, Gürcafer said that after the earthquake in the Republic of Turkey, the workforce preferred to remain in Turkey. The minimum wage and living conditions in the TRNC hold no attractions for them, he said.

Gürcafer said, “It is not possible to solve this problem with the local workforce. It is too late for us to train and use intermediate staff ourselves… There is a major labour shortage in the sector, serious work needs to be done, but our system is not fit for purpose. Worker transfers from abroad must be under one roof, registered, supervised, tested, contracted and secured. The places where these people are sheltered and fed are not sufficient to meet their food needs; this is a crime against humanity. There are also workplaces that treat them like animals, and this is very sad… We hear that there are workers who are employed well below the minimum wage”.

Following the pandemic, and while the value of the Turkish Lira plummeted, skilled workers no longer come from Turkey, because they are paid in lira which has little purchasing power.

There is also a shortage of workers in the hospitality sectors, largely for the same reasons.


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