There has never been a better time for one to get their White Card than now with the Aussie construction industry showing employment growth well above previous years. In fact according to statistics, even with the slowing in the general economy, employment levels within the construction industry continue to soar to record heights.
Leading Australian construction industry website Sourceable.net recently posted an article which emphasised the growth in employment in this sector with the overall number of people being employed throughout the sector in the three months to November rising by 6,600 from 1.048 million to 1.0546 million. This figure is 58,700 more than the same period last year, which accounts for one in every 10 Australians employed across the economy.
The states with the most growth in the sector in terms of employment are New South Wales, followed by Western Australia.
In Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory employment also rose on a year-to-year basis.
The article also quotes Housing Industry Association economist Geordan Murray who explained that the latest numbers were a reflection of strong levels of home building activity. He also said there was a demand for skilled workers such as bricklayers, tilers, plasterers, carpenters and roofers, particularly in NSW and WA.
He went on to explain:
“If you look at the forecast of activity over 2015, we are expecting mining investment to come off and residential is predicted to continue to be strong,” he said. “So all those trades that are utilised in residential construction should do quite well, particularly in markets where residential building activity is performing well.”
These booming employment figures further highlight the problem of a lack of apprentices coming through the system. There are fears that growth in the industry will not be able to be sustained in the future if we don’t have more young people entering the industry and training on the various skills.
One of those expressing his fears is Master Builders Australia chief executive officer, Wilhelm Harnisch who said that a skills crisis is looming. He said that with around 30,000 workers retiring from the sector every year, the number of apprentices entering the industry is much lower than in previous years. In fact less than half the number of those entering the sector in recent years are coming into the industry now.
The article on Sourceable.net went on to describe the construction sector’s employment at a glance according to figures from the ABS during the 3 months ending November,
Around 1.054 million people were employed either full time or part time within the construction sector (seasonally adjusted) – up 6,600 from the previous three months and 58,700 from the same period one year earlier
The sector accounted for 10 per cent of all workers employed across the economy
By state, New South Wales was the biggest employer followed by Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia, with the aforementioned states accounting for 33.3, 21.6, 19.5 and 14.9 per cent of total employment respectively
Around 86 per cent of those employed within the industry worked full-time