54% Growth in Dwelling Starts Demands More Brick-Block Apprentices

Demand for Bricklayers

Growth in The QLD Construction Market

The Queensland construction market has been buoyed by the growth in the residential market for the past four years. HIA figures show residential dwelling starts increasing from 28,610 in 2012 to a forecast 43,980 in 2015, up 54% over 3 years. Much of this growth has been in South East Qld.

Some believe 2015 was the busiest construction year since 2007 and forecast predictions are that 2016 will prove to be just as strong as 2015, holding this level for the following year.

While Brisbane has been the focus of construction lately, it is predicted that stronger growth will be seen in regional and northern locations in 2016. This leads to a couple of questions, namely is there a next key regional centre of growth and will both residential and commercial development spike in unison?

Guys laying bricks - Pic 1 with caption (3)Attracting & Retaining Quality Tradespeople

Many of my discussions show that attracting and retaining quality tradespeople is going to be a challenge for the sector this year and yet maintaining the flow of good apprentices to come through and grow the supply of qualified brick and blocklayers is vital to our sector.

The current supply of tradespeople, especially bricklayers, are spoilt for choice given that there is a shortage of talented and qualified tradespeople to fulfil key roles. This shortage results in slower job completion, use of substitute construction materials other than brick and block and poor quality construction from unskilled ‘fly-by-night’ workers – none of which our industry wants.

I believe the solution is pretty clear: our sector is experiencing a shortage which requires us more than ever to put time and energy in ensuring we not only retain our current workforce, but be seen as an ideal place to work and bring through more apprentices. ABBTF has suggestions on how to retain and encourage apprentices and make it work for you.


Growing a Skilled Workforce

The success of a company this year will rely heavily on its people and attracting the right people to carry out the work. The focus should be on growing their skilled work force from within the company, and not relying on poaching or attracting tradespeople from other employers.

Putting on an apprentice has never been as easy or financially supported as it is today and ABBTF has done a lot of the work for you so If you are an employer seeking an apprentice, call ABBTF Qld office on 1300 66 44 96 or (07) 3205 5559.

There are substantial financial incentives of $7,000+ available to employers who take on a male apprentice and even more for a female apprentice.

Tony Bishop
QLD State Manager

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