Chamber to lobby for construction industry

| 19/04/2018 | 20 Comments

(CNS): The construction sector is complaining that the cost of doing business and bureaucracy are constraining the ability to grow, even though the industry is currently enjoy a period of expansion. Thirty construction and development firms took part in a recent round table at the Chamber of Commerce and officials there said they will now take up the sector’s concerns with government. Although 70% of the participants said they would increase local hiring this year and nearly two-thirds expected to expand their operations, they nevertheless complained about costs and red tape.

“The general outlook is that the construction sector is doing well and firms are anticipating further growth and increased employment in the sector during 2018,” said Chamber President Paul Byles. “At the same time members also expressed concerns on the cost of doing business and red tape. Many respondents seem very happy with several of the recent changes in the planning department but most remained unhappy with the inefficiencies associated with the Building Control Unit,” he added.

The results will be discussed with the relevant members of government, the president stated in a release, to seek possible solutions to some of the concerns raised by local contractors and industry professionals.

“We may not be able to address all issues but we will continue to work with the relevant bodies to address them,” Byles said. “I am confident that some of these concerns will be addressed to enable our members of all sizes and in different segments of the construction industry to continue to thrive. If businesses are doing well then so is the wider economy.”

Byles explained that the purpose of the round table discussion was to better understand how Chamber members’ industries are doing. “It also helps us to better represent the sector by giving feedback to the country’s policymakers,” Byles said. 

The Chamber said it has “regular meetings… with policymakers to share information on the various industry sectors and any concerns and opportunities”.

It also has plans to hold similar round tables for the tourism and the financial services sectors, which will also involve the respective industry bodies, Cayman Islands Tourism Association and Cayman Finance.

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Category: development, Local News

Comments (20)

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  1. Yellowman says:

    Change the current Planning Chairman.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Construction industry person here. A little secret? We like to complain. Squeaky wheel gets the grease and all that. Learned it from bankers and lawyers.

  3. Anonymous says:

    In all honesty, I think the same can be said for most if not all other business sectors on-island too. Chamber should be speaking up for all of them.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Is it so bad that a lot of these contractors have million dollar houses and 50k cars ?
    Is that because you just don’t pay you workers if there is no work ?
    You skip insurance for the workpermits, because they have no choice and are being exploit by you.

    • Anonymous says:

      These so called contractors are really something. They do not want to pay a decent wage, sub contract everything to low ball “labor brokers”, do not want to follow any of the labor laws but then complain if they are forced to follow any health and safety laws. All because it will cut into there profit that they need to afford there life style of the rich & famous. Now they are whining with the Chamber to help get rid of laws. Just let them have all there cheap imported labor, squeeze out the Caymanians’ and get more for themselves. Greedy.

      • Anonymous says:

        That is so true for 95% of contractors, but not all are like that and do play by the rules!
        Allot of corruption as well in the industry.

    • Anonymous says:

      Materials are ridiculously expensive for construction jobs. Many times more than the labor costs. If it is made easier to bring these materials in then it will make sense to pay better wages. Even still across the board, employers pay construction workers well compared to hospitality. Health and Safety should always be followed and is a necessary cost of doing business in 2018.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I have been in construction all my life. Just finished building my own house and I have to say I will never work in a third world island like this again. Building is easy. Dealing with the incompetent, and non functional building department is not worth the effort or the money.

  6. Anonymous says:

    While I agree with and support good/strict construction codes, there is an argument that there is over-regulation and unnecessary “requirements” in today’s building industry, thus adding to the already inflated costs of construction.

    It would be good for the Chamber to advocate against unnecessary processes and red tape. But, if the Chamber is successful on behalf of the construction industry, will construction costs really go down? I doubt it!!

    Such benefits should not be one-sided!

  7. West Bay Premier says:

    Why does the Government create red tape and bureaucracy , is because they know that some Companies can just slide through it all , and some Companies can’t start to. That’s how they get out of being sued for discrimination and the ones who are feeding the pot will get the business.
    I think that if the Chamber of Commerce want to do anything for the little Contractors , go after that red tape an BS and get a level playing field for everyone. That will benefit all Members .

  8. Anonymous says:

    This country needs unions that will represent employees not just employers like the chamber.

  9. Anonymous says:

    There are more persons here from one particular Asian country than before – how can you be hiring locals if more and more come in? Have you looked at the labour force at say Fosters by the Airport, the Airport, etc?

    • Anonymous says:

      They want and need workers, not wanna be workers. Start your own construction business and try to be successful by hiring Caymanians over a proven work force. Then your comment would be relevant. Or better yet get job with them and prove a Caymanian can keep up with them.

    • Anonymous says:

      And your point? Caymanians can apply! The ones that work at Hurley’s are very unfriendly. I’d take Fosters airport smiles over that unhelpful place any day. There’s like 3 employees there who actually greet you or want to help you, the rest think you should be so lucky to have met them. Just give me a pound of sliced cheese, Deb, that’s all I want ffs.

  10. Anonymous says:

    is this a joke……

  11. nauticalone says:

    Happy to know this is being discussed.
    I’m in the process of building a small personal residence currently. In spite of having excellent banking history / references and employment history along with far more collateral than required, the amount of red tape and requirements is enormous!


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