‘Hopelessly short-staffed’ construction sector seeks government approval

Civil construction sector representatives are pushing for more formal approval to address a growing labor shortage that could jeopardize $18 billion worth of government projects.

Rebecca Pickering, CEO of Civil Contractors Federation SA, said the civil construction industry’s lack of formal recognition and subsequent lack of apprenticeship funding support has left the industry in dire need of more workers. He says he keeps young people away.

Pickering has worked in the civil engineering, commercial building, and construction industries for over 22 years. $18.6 billion The Ministry of Infrastructure’s plans to spend in South Australia over the next four years will only be made possible by a civil engineering and construction industry that is “struggling to find workers across the board”.

“We are the only one that actually builds all the foundations of an investment: hospitals, superstructures, roads,” said Pickering.

Civil engineering includes many operations such as earthworks, pipe laying tunnel construction, bridge construction, and road construction.

“Essentially everything that has to be done before construction – hospitals, superstructures, etc. – is foundational work where all the work is done before construction is done on the ground.”

Mr Pickering said despite the “desperate” need for workers in various streams, occupations in civil engineering are not recognized by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and the scale of the problem is unknown. said it was difficult.

“This means that when you look at the data from the Jobs and Skills Summit, there are no job codes, so there is no paper anywhere,” she said.

Pickering said such surveillance by government agencies has occurred and been repeated for decades.

“Civil engineering has traditionally been treated as unskilled workers, so I think it’s just a legacy that unfortunately we are stuck with.”

Pickering said the apprenticeship is not supported by A because civil construction is not officially recognized.Australia’s apprenticeship incentive system discourages young people from considering a career in industry.

“The funds will support apprenticeships in paying living expenses and supporting employers.”

“We don’t get funding. But if you’re a locksmith, a hairdresser, or a butcher, you… it just drives you crazy.

South Australia’s building industry was heard last week at an industry roundtable We need another 10,000 construction workers over the next five years, even though we are already suffering from a shortage of workers.

“I can’t leave this alone. I can’t pick it up. [shortfall] We had just 700 skilled or unskilled immigrants or interstate immigrants last year, but that’s not enough,” she said.

“How do we manage $18.6 billion worth of infrastructure when our current workforce only manages $1 billion?”

Pickering, who gave a presentation to high school students, said students recognize the incentives other pathways can offer.

“When I present it to my children, they know they can get $5,000 in cash if they choose a non-civil transaction,” she said.

“You need a warm body that wants to work outside and is willing to work for the next three years.

spokesperson for The ABS Statistical Standards & Infrastructure team notes that many civil engineering and construction professionals Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO).

“Positions within ANZSCO are identified based on the skill level and skill specialization required to assume the role,” a spokesperson said.

“Many of the ‘occupations’ listed are identified separately within ANZSCO. Road signs, traffic managers, earthworkers, and plant operators fall into several occupations.

“In the March 2022 Commonwealth Budget, ABS will undertake a comprehensive review and update of ANZSCO (submission by December 2024) to improve classification maintenance to better reflect the contemporary Australian labor market. We have been given new funding to start a rolling program.”

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‘Hopelessly short-staffed’ construction sector seeks government approval

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