Tasmanian Building and Construction Industry Training Board releases new report

In an industry snapshot released on Friday, industry members highlighted a need for post-trade training as well as courses information and communication technology and assistance for small businesses and sole traders in tendering for building contract work.

Needs in Northern Tasmania included basic skills, like literacy and numeracy training, and enhanced skills for dealing with new technologies and building code regulations.

Regional workshops held in 2018 identified there were barriers in recruiting people suitable for the construction industry and getting young people in particular to be motivated for recruitment.

Feedback in the report noted apprentices did not understand the industry could offer interesting and rewarding experiences.

It said there was a general consensus among 180 industry members who attended the forums that mature-age apprentices were of a high quality but costly for small builders.

TBCITB chairwoman Tracy Matthews said there were 19,700 people employed in the building industry as at November 2018 with was 6 per cent less than three months prior.

“The Tasmanian building and construction industry continues to experience high activity levels expected to be around $2.8 billion a year for at least the next two years,” Ms Matthews said.

“More major projects in the north of the state are expected to happen within the next two years coinciding with the completion of significant projects in southern Tasmania.”

The board forecast a 3-per-cent rise in residential building construction over the next two financial years which was anticipated to be valued at $884 million by 2020-21.

It said the industry employed 1786 apprentices during 2017-2018 which represented a 22-per-cent increase on the previous financial year.

Last financial year, 900 apprentices commenced in the building and construction industry which was up 39 per cent the year before.

“With the expected growth in construction activity, an increase apprentice numbers should follow in the short term,” the report said.

It said 25 per cent of apprentices did not complete their courses due to a lack of work.