Because of this importance, schools will be vital to the ongoing success of Queensland’s economy. To meet predicted demand, the state government has recently rolled out plans for future schools, with around 100 needed by 2031.
These plans come from the findings of a report from the Queensland Schools Planning Commission. The commission recommended that the state will need 83 new primary schools in the next few decades, along with 36 secondary schools.
New facilities are planned for regions which are expected to see high population growth. Across the state, 90 per cent of these future schools are forecast for development hotspots. These 30 regions are forecast to have the highest demand for new facilities and will be specifically targeted for future developments.
In total these new schools will cater for an expected 257,000 school-age Queenslanders who will be living in the state by 2031, with these population increases spread across existing school infrastructure and the new facilities.
To support these developments, the state government has also committed $1 billion in funding for new school projects.
Geographically, these new schools will be focussed around existing population areas, with the greater Brisbane area and cities like Cairns forecast to see the greatest increases in the school-age population.
While the total growth in schools will be considerable by 2031, these developments are expected to be staggered over the next 17 years. By 2021, between 29 and 36 new primary schools are forecast for the state, with another 39-47 planned for the decade between 2021 and 2031.
This means that school projects will be consistent across the next 17 years, as new opportunities match the growth in population.
With so many new schools in the pipeline, now might be a good time to take on an apprenticeship or traineeship in Queensland. Many of the skills needed in this sort of building work will require the completion of an apprenticeship just to get your foot in the door.
Even small schools can require a large range of skills and will take much longer to complete than residential housing. This will make them a good opportunity for continued employment within the state, especially in those areas which are seeing the greatest growth.
By Leanne de Toerkenczy, Public Relations Coordinator