The building and construction industry will need more than 120,000 additional workers over the next five years, according to the latest Internet Vacancy Index released by the Department of Jobs and Small Business.
Master Builders Australia CEO, Denita Wawn, said the figure highlights the crucial role the $1.5 billion Skilling Australians Fund will be for the building and construction industry to meet its future workforce needs.
In January alone, there were 31,000 industry related vacancies advertised in January. “This is why building and construction has been identified as a priority industry,” Wawn said.
The Federal Government is tackling major vocational education and training (VET) system reforms with a $1.5 billion Skilling Australians Fund which will create 300,000 extra apprenticeships and traineeships and a $60 million Industry Specialist Mentoring for apprentices program.
“The fund is a key element in helping our industry address its future workforce challenges,” Wawn said. “Building and construction provides jobs for more than one million people, more than one in 10 Australians, and trains more than half of the nation’s apprentices.”
While the Internet Vacancy Index increased by 1.2% in January 2018, continuing a 16 month run of increases, one of the strongest increases were for Technicians and Trades Workers (1.6%). This category, over the last 12 months, has increased 20%.
Meanwhile, Labor has announced a National Inquiry into Post-Secondary Education, which was welcomed by Master Builders Australia.
The joint announcement was made by the Shadow Minister for Education and Training, Tanya Plibersek along with the
Shadow Minister for Skills, TAFE and Apprenticeships, Doug Cameron, and the Shadow Minister for Universities, Terri Butler.
“Master Builders has consistently called for a review of the system to ensure it can provide young people with the skills they need and what employers want,” Wawn said.
“This is especially important to our industry which trains more than 50,000 apprentices each and every year.
“The equal focus on the VET sector with university education in Labor’s proposed inquiry is particularly important. For too long vocational education that leads to careers in industries like ours has been perceived as the ‘poor cousin’ of a university degree.
“This must change so the education system better informs young people about the range of rewarding career choices there are in industries like building and construction.”