Despite an uptick in construction employment, Australian companies still find it hard to fill vacancies due to a “talent mismatch” between workers’ qualifications and employers’ preferred skills, according to a Hays report.
The recruitment firm’s 2017 Hays Global Skills Index showed that demand for certain roles depends on where construction firms operate in the country. The company said that contract administrators, project and construction managers comprise the most in-demand jobs, due to a strong residential activity.
The residential, commercial and civil sectors in New South Wales currently thrives with plenty of activity. However, the boom in construction further highlighted a need to fill roles such as site managers, forepersons and project engineers. In the Australian Capital Territory, a $700 million light rail project fuels demand for project and site managers, contract administrators and civil forepersons among others.
Infrastructure design professionals, engineers, comprise some of the in-demand jobs in Victoria, where high-rise projects in Melbourne’s central business districts buoy the industry. The need to resolve the skills gap in these regions will somehow be relevant to an expected boom in non-residential construction.
Katrina Clifton, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) senior economist, said that non-residential building activity will be the next big factor for the country’s economic growth. CBA expects the sector to provide $4.3 billion in spending between 2017 and 2018. Public infrastructure spending will also generate $8.1 billion in economic activity.
This expected growth in construction will not only benefit general contractors but also businesses like Form Direct that distribute concrete tools and supplies. Clifton expects a shift towards non-residential and infrastructure spending to influence increase salaries in the future.
The construction industry needs to bridge the gap between a shortage of skills and talent development. Likewise, individuals should seek to improve their qualifications to be more suited to the job at hand.