Labour Market Insights In The Construction Industry

Labour market insights in the construction industry

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Labour market insights in the construction industry

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​As one of the largest sectors in Australia, construction has certainly experienced its fair share of challenges. Although 2021 was an improvement compared to 2020 due to the uncertainty of lockdowns, construction industries have been a bit of a rollercoaster. 

The great news is, we’re seeing a strong growth in infrastructure engineering and building, thanks to the federal government announcing arecord infrastructure investment of $17.9 billion across Australia. With infrastructure being a key pillar of Australia’s economic plan to boost the economy, this investment will support tens of thousands of direct and indirect jobs over the construction life of these projects.

In this article, we explore key statistics and facts which define the construction industry in Australia - and what to expect when it comes to career choices or hiring decisions. It also discusses what the future holds for the Australian construction industry in 2022 and beyond.


A snapshot of the Australian construction industry

Overall, the industry continues to grow and go from strength to strength. The following key insights provide an overview of this promising sector:

  • Employment:There are 1,262,200 employed in the construction industry in Australia, with the average age of 38. The number of workers grew by 129,400 (or 11.4%) over the last year.

  • Average earnings:Construction is the main job for 86% of workers, earning an average of $1,305 per week, compared to the average earnings of $1,200 across all industries.

  • The gender gap:Unfortunately, the gender landscape remains relatively unchanged, with only 13.3% representing the female workers in the sector. However, there are efforts being made tosupport gender diversity. The Victorian government pioneered a change toward equity by implementing a new policy called the Building Equality Policy (BEP), which sets apprentice-trainee quotas, and mandates 4% of labour hours to be performed by women.

At CGC Recruitment, we love partnering with associations that empower, advocate, and create pathways for leadership.  And, most importantly, one that supports gender diversity. 

CGC has been supporting WIDAC - Women in Design and Construction – since it was launched in 2017.  Through sponsorship and the involvement of key CGC women, we have helped the organisation grow and expand through Sydney, Brisbane, and now Melbourne.

Their Schools Engagement Program aims to shine a spotlight on the intricacies of the industry and promote opportunities available to young women.  This wonderful community also explores diverse topics, addresses issues faced by women, and assists women to develop technical skills to help them thrive and uncover their potential.  

Read more about Women in Design and Construction here:

Largest sectors and occupations within construction

Building installation services is the largest sector in the construction industry,employing 25.3% of workers- with building completion services, and residential building construction following closely behind.

Being employed in construction can be a very lucrative career, with a range of occupations dependent on skills and qualifications. Jobs come with a wide range of tasks and working conditions, however the rewards can be very fulfilling.

Thetop four roles with the highest skill levelinclude:

  • Construction manager:A construction manager oversees and communicates the progress of a project to team members. They’re involved in all aspects of a work site’s operations and are the highest paid construction workers in the country.

  • Project manager:Project managers are responsible for overseeing and organising every stage of a project. Tasks include reviewing architectural plans, coordinating and leading teams, managing schedules, and organising materials and labour.

  • Foreperson:A foreperson/foreman is in charge of managing the workload of their team members and scheduling tasks.

  • Builder:Builders are one of the most in demand jobs in Australia. Tasks include building and renovating residential, commercial, and industrial buildings. A licensed builder will enable them to work on larger projects.

Priority skills in construction

Working in construction is a physically and mentally demanding career. In order to succeed in their work, candidates require a variety of skills and traits.

According to theAustralian Industry and Skills Committee, the top priority skills gaps in construction are:

  • Language, literacy and numeracy (LLN)

  • Learning agility/information literacy/intellectual autonomy and self-management

  • Design mindset/thinking 

  • Critically/system thinking

  • Problem solving

  • Communication/virtual collaboration/social intelligence

  • Technology.

With the sector experiencing severe labour shortages over the past few years, it’s imperative there is continued upskilling and training in order to fill in these gaps.     

Recruitment trends in 2023 and beyond

We’re seeing organisations increasingly invest in AI, automation, and robotics to create a more agile workplace. This shift requires new skills to be developed across the workforce. Employers must support their team members in their careers through appropriate learning platforms for them to develop new skills.

CGC Recruitment predicts organisations in the construction industry will focus and invest in training in technology to ensure the workforce retains the relevant skill set as the industry involves. This will also improve employee retention and rebuild the workforce for continued prosperity.

 In summary 

It’s a good time to be involved in construction. 

Australia is looking to the construction sector to heal the economy post COVID and accelerate its recovery. The end of 2022 is showing great promise overcoming challenges. And with the emerging attention being placed on organisations to upskill the workforce for the adoption of new technology, the construction industry will enjoy a stronger, and more resilient future.

About CGC Recruitment

CGC Recruitment is a specialist construction, infrastructure, engineering, and architecture recruitment consultancy. We view our clients as our partners and work closely with them to meet their business needs. We work with some of Australia’s largest construction brands through to specialist SMEs and boutique consultants. We have proven experience delivering permanent, contract and retained recruitment solutions, consistently providing the right candidates for the right roles at the right time.

If you have an active role you’d like to discuss or just want to talk to a specialist consultant, pleasecontact us. Alternatively, you can complete our online client formand a member of our team will contact you