Due to alarming statistics on the massive migratory wave of Croats to other EU countries, Croatia has also been recording a huge lack of construction workers bringing into question new investments. Such alarming situation might lead to possible investment collapse.
Croatia is chronically lacking around 4,000 to 5,000 construction workers of all profiles, developers, real estate experts and construction workers have been warning for some time now. They also added that a whole array of good construction workers are going abroad in search of a better job and that domestic construction companies could hardly bid for construction projects in Croatia any more.
''Over the past two years, at least 20 percent of high quality construction workers left the country'', says Domagoj Ferdebar, the secretary general of the Croatian Construction Trade Union. For example, in Germany which has so many investments and simply 'gulps' every good construction worker, a low-qualified worker is paid 11,30 Euros per hour (85 Kunas), which is four and a half times more than the minimum wage for apprentice in Croatia who is paid slightly less than 19 Kunas for the same job.
Masons, carpenters, mechanics and other skilled workers for one hour of their work in Germany earn 110 Kunas, whilst the same job in Croatia is paid 20 to 25 Kunas per hour.
''Due to this difficult situation, Croatian construction companies cannot bid on tenders as project holders, only as co-operatives'', confirmed Denis Cupic, the president of HUP's Association of Project Developers in Real Estate Development and the CEO of the F.O. Development company from Varazdin. Cupic also added that there are many medium-sized project ''on hold'' worth 1,5 to 6 million Euros for which funding is secured and necessary permits obtained, however, it is impossible to find a construction company that has secure workers and guarantees that it will meet the deadlines and perform the quality job.
Cupic also emphasized that the lack of construction workers will affect major investment projects in the tourism industry next year unless the government allows new additional import of construction workers from countries in the region.
''The lack of labour force in Croatia has become one of the burning problems. There are more and more examples where companies turn down jobs due to the lack of workers. It is now possible that we will also loose workers from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Serbia and other Balkan countries because in the meantime they all went to Western Europe. Therefore, already contracted projects are brought into question'', warns the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK).