Solving the shortage of skilled labour in horticultural building projects

Greenhouses are appearing everywhere in the world these days and it is clear skilled labor isn’t available everywhere. This goes for growers and for suppliers: try to find a skilled team when you're one of the first ones building a greenhouse in Armenia, the Middle-East or Asia. The Serbian company Agrikol has responded to this: at the moment they employ over 400 people and are able to take on every job needed in the realisation of a greenhouse project. “Supervision, building, installments – we can take care of it. As long as it’s a greenhouse”, Nikola Petković explains.

Tour the world
If you want to take a tour around the horticultural world from behind your desk, take the time to check the pictures Nikola with Agrikol can supply from the various greenhouse projects the company is currently working on or has completed. From Kazakhstan to Japan, from Italy to Russia and from Abu Dhabi to the USA – it’s all in there. Big or small, from a few thousand square meters up to several hectares, hot climates or humid conditions, their workers find their way to the projects all over the globe.

The activities done vary as well: whether it’s taking care of replacing foil, instalment of heating or irrigation systems, building steel constructions, screen repairing - you name it.  “Over the last couple of years we see the demand for supervision of projects being on the rise, since the shortage of skilled people is a serious topic. We work often for the turnkey suppliers and can work together with local companies as well. In terms of supervising, we can take over the responsibility and make sure the project is realised by the high standards of the industry.”

Whether it's big or small, it's irrelevant what size or type of greenhouse, Agrikol trains their employees to be able to do the job. Check out their various projects here. 

The back office 
In their global activities, Agrikol relies greatly on their employees. They have their own training centre to learn the job and an extensive schedule for newbies to learn the deal, the schedule. “Training and labor management is an important topic to us. That’s why even though you don’t see them often, the back management is the base of our company.” He explains how they take care of the planning as well – quite a challenge, since it’s hard to find a company with presence in as many projects or countries as Agrikol. “The right persons, with the right skills have to be at the right place at the right moment – and with over 80 projects going on this year, it’s not an easy schedule to make. Our back office has the complete overview and put all their time and effort in keeping both customers and employees happy.”

The back office in the picture for once!

Expansion plans
In the global greenhouse industry, upcoming markets play a big role as well. Agrikol recently opened a subsidiary in Russia and one in Hungary. “We want to extend the EU market from Hungary and serve the companies better based from here. And for Russia: this market is very important – but the rules and regulations can be difficult. With a new location here, we can adjust with the markets demands.”

And there’s more to come. Nikola is looking to the USA and Canada as well. “Labor in these countries is not only a topic for the growers, but also for the building companies and that’s exactly where we come in.” He explains how, thanks to the seasons and their global presence, it can be scheduled in quite easily. “We work with the seasons and spread all over the globe: when winter starts in Northern countries, we go more south and vice versa.”

Click here for the complete photo report of the Agrikol Projects this year. 

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Agrikol

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