The new Estella Road Public School in Wagga Wagga will inject $36m into the local economy and generate around 314 jobs. It was one of 48 projects fast tracked by the NSW Government in May and June to create jobs and keep the construction industry moving. There will be 19 more projects determined in July.
This week we put on our hard hats and venture into the industry that accounts for 1 in 4 jobs in NSW
But first, let’s start with where the jobs are
Over the past week, we’ve listed a number of job opportunities in the following industry sectors and locations across NSW. Around 52% are in the Finance and Government sectors.
Sydney – Inner West, Milsons Point, Parramatta, South Sydney, Penrith
Easy to find the numbers, challenging to find the right talent
Ben Trapman, our Regional Manager – Western Sydney, deconstructs some of the forces at play for recruitment in the industry.
Across Australia, the $414b+ construction industry produces around 9% of the nation’s GDP and employs over 1.061 million people making it the third largest employing industry behind mining and finance.
Its output is equally important. By producing essential commercial, industrial and civic infrastructure it also supports employment and productivity in other industries.
“The construction industry is a significant driver of economic activity in Australia,” says Ben. “But it’s a complex employment market with many factors influencing recruitment.
“For a start, there is the diversity of employers. The industry encompasses over 390,000 businesses, from the Tier 1 level with 350 plus employees and over a $1billion in turnover to Tier 5, often family-owned businesses with less than 15 employees and under $10million in turnover.
“It has interdependent relationships with a number of other sectors such as manufacturing, trade, finance, insurance, and all levels of government.
“Finally, it is dependent on supply chains, population growth and consumer confidence.
“As a result, even during normal times, you see divergent trends happening simultaneously. Throw a pandemic into the mix and you have a very volatile, sometimes contradictory, employment market.
“Right now, in NSW, there has been a downturn in residential and commercial building works with significant impact on trades, compounded by employment conditions which mean many of these workers are not eligible for JobKeeper and there is little scope to work from home.
“So, we are seeing a rise in blue-collar job applicants, many of whom are taking the first job they can get. This is understandable, but can be costly for them, particularly if they run their own contracting business.
“At the same time, we’re seeing some employers become more demanding. They want a skill set that has been proven and demonstrated over a number of years, to give them confidence they won’t have to rehire again in a few months. Not something they can afford at a time when the cost of WH&S and insurance has gone through the roof.
“Some of the smartest employment decisions we’re seeing currently are at the local council level.
“They’re leveraging every opportunity to make the most of funding being fast tracked by Federal and State governments. Not just to forge ahead with building works such as roads and community projects, but also to identify local opportunities in major works such as Snow Hydro 2.0 and to ensure they have the skill and expertise they need going forward.
“The bottom line is that there is growth, albeit modest, and the scope of employment opportunities in the construction industry is not going to change.
“It requires a vast range of roles and skill sets to keep it moving.
“Spinifex has been supporting construction employers with recruitment services for over 30 years . During that time, we’ve recruited every role imaginable from labourers, trade specialists, site managers, engineers and geologists to project managers, WH&S officers, technical trainers, administration support and senior executives.
“There are very few career pathways not covered in this industry, so there is always going to be opportunities for employers to attract new talent and for job seekers to get their foot in the door.”