Feasibility of Developing a Licensing Scheme for Fijian Contractors and Sub-Contractors

Sami, Sanil V. (2018) Feasibility of Developing a Licensing Scheme for Fijian Contractors and Sub-Contractors. [USQ Project]


Fiji is a developing nation with a growing construction industry. A strong construction industry is beneficial for national development. Issues connected with poor quality of work, inferior quality of materials, and delayed project completions have been highlighted through the media and other channels. One of the solutions to this problem is licensing. Accordingly this paper investigates on the feasibility of a licensing scheme for the Fijian construction industry focusing on contractors and sub-contractors. This project is important to ensure that contractors and sub-contractors involved in the construction boom are well equipped with managerial competence as well as skillful craftsmen. It builds on previous research conducted in developed countries and extracts information in line with Fiji’s suitability.

Licensing schemes have been introduced in developed countries for a range of trades and professions with arguments for and against use. Such schemes have a defined scope associated with the skill and qualification of the contractors and tradesman with schemes administered by government funded organisations being expensive to administer but the high quality of finish and low maintenance with benefits to license holders such as low insurance premiums and more work outweighed this cost in the long term.

Data for this research was collected by means of questionnaire surveys and semi-structured interviews. The questionnaire was distributed to 67 participants and the interview requests were sent to six individuals. In all, 13 participants responded whilst one individual was available for an interview. Responses were provided by Engineers, Architects, Clients, Contractor, Project Managers and Quantity Surveyor. The responses were tabulated and summarized. Each question was considered individually with a summary of main findings.

Currently, only electrical, air-conditioning and plumbing trades are licensed and these are administered by separate organisations. This study finds that fire services, carpentry, welding, piling, water proofing, structural fabrication and asbestos removal are trades that require urgent licensing. In addition, the craftsmen in these trades need to be tested and licensed in order to carry out the work. The Suva City Council has implemented a drainage and plumbing scheme for licensing plumbers. This study recommends that this scheme be implemented in other towns and city. It also recommends for a licensing board to be setup that includes licensing commercial, residential and engineering construction as ascertained through the results. Licensing will be an investment that will improve contractor performance and public confidence in the construction industry. There is strong agreement that licensing of contractors should be categorized with varying views on the form and structure. Further work is recommended in this area. Financial capacity, qualification, experience, reference, insurance and licensed craftsmen should be considered as a criteria for assessment. The study identified that labour cost will increase, as more skill training will be required.

It is concluded that as licensing was supported by all sectors of the industry including engineers, architects, clients, contractors, project managers and quantity surveyors. It is feasible to setup a licensing scheme for contractors and subcontractors in the Fijian construction industry with more benefits than costs.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Bachelor of Engineering (Civil)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Civil Engineering and Surveying (1 Jul 2013 - 31 Dec 2021)
Supervisors: Abeyesekera, Vasantha
Date Deposited: 05 Sep 2022 05:37
Last Modified: 05 Sep 2022 05:37
Uncontrolled Keywords: licensing scheme; Fiji; feasibility
URI: https://sear.unisq.edu.au/id/eprint/40772

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