Webuild looks to Africa as it aims to hire 10,000 people over next three years
20 September 2023
Italian construction group Webuild has revealed plans to hire nearly 10,000 people over the next three years and is looking to Africa as a source of potential new construction workers.
Pietro Salini chief executive of the company, which owns US-based Lane Construction and Australian-based Clough, said, “The Webuild Group is working on 31 major projects in Italy, with some 16,300 people already working, and it aims to hire another 9,500 workers and office staff in the 2024-2026.
“Just in 2022, we hired 15,000 people, of whom 40% were under 30. It is a huge effort both in finding them and training them. But it is of the utmost importance in order to modernise and make Italian infrastructure more sustainable.”
His comments came at a conference organised by the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Italy, focused on encouraging immigration from Africa for work.
It was co-hosted by E4Impact, a foundation that aims to train and generate partnerships between African and European companies.
Salini highlighted figures showing that Italy is searching for over 530,00 people, almost half of which are “very hard to find”.
He said, “The infrastructure sector requires increasingly more specialised workers. This is why Webuild has been investing for years in professional training, in a culture of safety and innovation for all those wishing to work in a growing sector like ours.”
The group has its own trades school (“Scuola di Mestieri”), which offers a professional path merging theory and work experience on construction sites alongside managers.
It is also making use of new immersive training methods like 3D virtual reality simulators, as well as managerial training programmes and scholarships. Webuild added that it also has research and development partnerships with universities and an agreement with Italy’s prisons department aimed at offering job opportunities to prisoners.
Commenting on the transformation taking place in Africa, Salini said, “The continent has overtaken Asia in becoming the main source of population growth.
“Four of the eight countries that will account for more than half of the population growth up to 2050 are African. Among them, Nigeria by 2058, which could have more inhabitants than the entire EU.
“This is why an efficient and shared immigration management between Europe and member states is strongly needed. It is essential to support companies in training foreigners to provide everyone – and not just the already employed – with a basic knowledge that is essential to ensure safety on construction sites.”