In a detailed report regarding the Australian construction sector, ABS identified several key areas of growth. This includes a record high number of residential building approvals during the first quarter of this year.
Overall, the number of dwellings approved increased by 0.7 per cent in trend terms in February, which marks the 26 months of continuous growth. In particular, private sector housing approvals climbed by 1.9 per cent – with a 1 per cent growth recorded in Queensland.
The value of these approvals has also been increasing, showing that larger, more extensive projects are getting underway this year. Total building value rose by 0.2 per cent in February – the eight consecutive month of growth.
“Compared with the same time last year, approvals activity has increased by well over 20 per cent,” Housing Industry Association (HIA) Senior Economist Shane Garrett said of the ABS data.
He explained that approvals can typically take around six months to translate to on-site activity, thus a continuing volume of approvals can “help alleviate dwelling prices” and is a “good thing for affordability”.
This means that if building approvals continue to meet record numbers, housing affordability will grow – creating more demand from low-income buyers. As demand increases, relevant companies are expected to increase recruitment to meet the rise in construction activity.
The impact of rising demand is already being seen in the construction industry, as further ABS data shows the number of job vacancies within this sector climbed 4,000 between November 2013 to February this year.
Currently, there are 13,900 employment vacancies available in Australia’s construction industry, which is over a thousand more than this time last year. However, Mr Garrett has warned employers in this sector to be wary of potential skills shortages, as gaps begin to open in occupations such as bricklaying, tiling and roofing.
Fortunately, employers concerned about meeting the skills needs of the growing construction industry can invest in apprenticeships and traineeships in Queensland. Offering these programs allows a company to source and train individuals in the specific skills and qualifications they require.
Hiring an apprentice or trainee now will ensure you have access to the talent you need for years to come, particularly as the individuals you employee complete their apprenticeship over a three or four year period. For more information on apprenticeships in Queensland, get in touch with BUSY At Work today.
By Leanne de Toerkenczy, Public Relations Coordinator