Rio 2016 Olympics Struggling to Find Domestic Workers

September 15, 2011

Rio de Janiero Chief Executive, Leonardo Gryner has acknowledged that they are struggling to recruit enough skilled Brazilian workers to help it prepare for the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics and will probably need to look abroad for the expertise it needs.

There is a particular shortage of engineers with expertise in project management, he admitted. “Today we have 181 employees involved in organising the event, when the forecast was that we should have 274 by this time,” said Gryner.

At its peak, Rio 2016 is expected to employ more than 4,000 people. At the same time organisers of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil are also looking to recruit high-calibre staff.

Gryner said: “As the Brazilian economy is heated, there is talent shortage in the market. But employees who are hired are compensated by a salary greater than originally anticipated.”

Gryner believes there will be a lot of foreign interest.

“Traditionally, 20 to 25 per cent of the workforce employed in each edition of the Olympics is foreign. In Rio, we can expect that figure to raise to 30 per cent due to lack of manpower. Our salaries are competitive abroad because we are paying the dollar, an amount consistent with the international market,” he said.

It is estimated that by the end of 2016 the Brazilian economy will need an extra 20,000 construction workers to keep up with demand. 

To help fill the gap, the Referral Service construction of the Center for Industrial Learning (SENAI) is planned to open next year, two schools offering vocational training for the construction industry.

From late 2012, it is expected to train 6,000 professionals each year.