Earthmoving plant operators, paving and surfacing workers, and civil labourers are forecast to be in hot demand over the next 12-18 months as Queensland’s construction industry pivots towards building big infrastructure.
The state’s 150,000 construction workers are being urged to take advantage of a $37.6 million training package announced this week. They will be required to help deliver $46 billion in construction work that is expected over the next 12 months.
On Tuesday, Construction Skills Queensland (CSQ) announced the $37.6 million training investment package as part of its 2019-2020 Annual Training Plan, with specific training programs to match forecast industry activity and skilling requirements of major projects.
CSQ CEO, Brett Schimming, said residential builders would likely face flat conditions as large engineering projects move to dominate industry activity.
“After several years of strong growth in residential building in Queensland, 2019-20 will see the industry pivot to large engineering construction projects.”
“Projects like Brisbane’s Cross River Rail, the Port of Townsville Expansion and the Shoalwater Bay Military Training Facility will drive double-digit growth for the engineering sector, compared to the flat conditions faced by residential builders,” Mr Schimming said.
“This means there will be increased demand for key civil construction trades over the coming year – jobs that will be in hot demand include earthmoving plant operators, paving and surfacing workers and labourers.”
Another significant change for the industry over the next year will be a return of activity to the regions. Mr Schimming maintains that a long-awaited turnaround in fortunes for regional Queensland will likely be seen – while residential building will contract in South East Queensland, it is set to grow strongly in other parts of the state.
“Top-performing locations are predicted to be Townsville, Central Queensland and Far North Queensland and CSQ expects an increased level of training in these locations,” he said.
Minister for Training and Skills Development, Shannon Fentiman, said CSQ’s Annual Training Plan offered benefits to anyone with a career in the Queensland construction industry.
“It’s fantastic to have CSQ continue to invest in the training and skills development for the jobs in construction, now and into the future,” Ms Fentiman said.
“We want more young people to undertake an apprenticeship or traineeship, and CSQ are providing valuable pathways to a successful and life long career in our construction industry,” she said.
Mr Schimming added that CSQ’s training plan was tailored to the changing needs of the construction workforce in each region and responded to the influence of major projects in the pipeline.
“CSQ’s priority is making sure that all of the major projects and all regions in Queensland have a skilled and available local workforce to match the changing industry profile and to meet the specific needs at different stages of project delivery.”
“Training dollars are available to those looking at entering construction, progressing their career or upskilling to take advantage of the new opportunities coming through the current industry cycle,” he concluded.