Construction Industry Skills Shortage Looming

The construction industry is set to face severe skills shortages over the next 3 years and more foreign workers will have to be given 457 visas in order to accommodate this skills gap.

A warning was issued by the Construction and Property Services Industry Skills Council (CPSISC) who warned that there is likely to be an increase in demand for residential construction over the next 3 years however there may not be enough construction skills to supply this need.

The research released today by the CPSISC, and modelled by the Centre for International Economics, predicts the industry faces an increase of 45,000 jobs over the next three years, which is good news for young people contemplating which career to enter into.

The growth expected over the next few years means that the construction industry will pay lucratively and workers will have more choice and freedom to choose who they want to work for. Combine with this the fact that the White Card – the general construction safety training qualification for Oz, is now nationally recognized and workers have the opportunity to work anywhere in the country they wish.

Read this excerpt from explains further:

The industry is expected to see employment increase by 1.5% every year until 2016 – but the CPSISC says this can be improved, as the industry isn’t ready to meet that demand.


The report says while these 45,000 additional jobs are welcome, they “do not directly replace the gap caused by recent shortfalls in apprenticeship flows and aged attrition trends occurring over the next decade”.


The CPSISC says the government needs to encourage incentives in order to grow that number even more, including workplace development programs.


The benefits are laid out in the report, which claims a 1% productivity increase to the construction industry would add $2.36 billion a year to the national GDP.


Given property services are tied closely to the construction industry, such a boost would have a positive, widespread effect on the economy.



Another thing highlighted by the research is that apprentices are not joining the industry at the required rate. Apprentice numbers are down for whatever reason which will affect the industry negatively later on.

According to the latest figures a significant fall in the number of apprentices in the building and construction industry has been partly attributed to the downturn in building activity across Oz. But building activity is expected to pick up and when this happens it is feared that there won’t be enough skills to facilitate this growth.

The lack of apprentice workers in the construction industry may be indicative of a number of factors and issues, which means those apprentice workers in the sector need to be protected, if the future of a skilled construction workforce is to be ensured.

One of the most important aspects of apprentice safety to consider is ensuring apprentice workers are adequately trained and constantly supervised, especially when engaging in high risk work such as construction work.