40,000 skilled workers needed to ease shortage in construction sector. The Master Builders Association of Victoria (MBA) believes that to keep pace with the industry’s growth, the state needs 40,000 more skilled workers within the next five years.
AUSTRALIAN IMMIGRATION NEWS
Australian Immigration: 40,000 skilled workers needed to ease shortage in construction sector
Monday, 14 April 2008
Immigration can be the answer to curbing Australian state, Victoria’s rise in housing prices because of labour shortages in commercial and residential projects.
The Master Builders Association of Victoria (MBA) believes that to keep pace with the industry’s growth, the state needs 40,000 more skilled workers within the next five years.
Because of an acute lack of skilled workers, Victoria’s construction activity is being threatened, and, according to a survey of commercial builders by the peak body, recruiting a skilled workforce was the biggest issue preventing the sector from reaching its potential.
Executive MBA director Brian Welch said that this survey highlighted the need for Victoria not only to retain its skilled professionals but also to attract new workers.
Other key findings of the survey showed that 46% of those polled said that it was very difficult to recruit highly skilled workers such as site and project managers. Also, more than half said the greatest difficulty was found in recruiting shop draftsmen.
Mr Welch also said that things are about to worsen if Immigration Australia can’t help: “With an ageing workforce and many of our senior building professionals close to retirement age, the situation is expected to worsen” .
The problem, Welch explained, was that forcing up the costs for builders, would feed into property prices for consumers.
He warned that the fewer trade contractors there are to do work; the higher house prices will rise as shortages become imminent. Also, he added that we are under-building as it stands and there are a lot of people over the next five years who will retire from the building industry.
Over the past few years, housing affordability in Australia has worsened, with home owners and renters spending more of their income on mortgage or rent payments. Hopefully, Immigration Australia can bring in more skilled workers from overseas to remedy this problem.
Mr Welch said to address the skills shortage, the State Government should introduce several measures, including retraining skilled workers at retirement age so their skills and experience can be kept as “registered trainers”.
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