Skilled labourers possess specialised expertise in a particular field within construction. For example, bricklayers, glaziers, stonemasons, cabinetmakers and so on. This makes them invaluable in the construction industry, as their know-how allows for the effective completion of more specific and complex tasks. The construction industry has been experiencing a shortage in skilled labourers, with this expected to continue in the coming years.
According to research conducted by the Department of Employment in 2015, the shortage of skilled labourers may be attributed to the following factors:
- Lower Numbers of New Apprentices/Lack of Apprenticeships
Currently, the number of new apprentices in the construction industry will be insufficient to take over the work of less active/retiring skilled labourers. Thus, leading to a high demand in work with an insufficient supply of workers. Also, according to a Sourceable article, there aren't enough apprenticeships available to develop the skills of new labourers. This worsens the problem and can significantly affect the size of the pool of future skilled labourers.
- Increased Turnover Of Skilled Labourers
According to the employers surveyed, turnover of skilled labourers was frequently experienced. This was often due to the fluctuating availability of work, burnout from the physical nature of construction and the relatively low pay.
A shortage of skilled labourers in the construction industry can potentially have very negative effects on construction companies, which could continue to be damaging in the long-term. A lack of skilled workers in the industry may make it difficult for construction companies to complete jobs by the set deadline, and may even force them to turn down projects because they are ill-equipped. This can be detrimental to the longevity and bottom line of construction businesses.
Also, a shortage of local skilled workers may lead to construction companies turning to foreign labour to meet their needs. This will further exacerbate the issue of insufficient skilled workers in Australia's construction industry, as the reduced availability of work may discourage people from pursuing a career in construction in favour of a more fruitful field. This feeds into a vicious shortage cycle.
In light of the predicted exponential growth of Australia's population, and the subsequent increase in demand for infrastructural, commercial, and residential construction, skilled labourers are required more than ever. It is important that steps are taken to make the construction industry more attractive to future skilled labourers, as well as the implementation of initiatives to help retain current skilled labourers.
Are you looking for skilled construction workers to fill in the gaps and help you meet demand, contact us at Workfast today!