Construction Sector Set for Big Shift: ACIF Report

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Tuesday, October 29th, 2013
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Some professionals and tradespeople within the construction industry would be advised to consider switching to alternative sectors and regions as the location and type of work available over coming years is set to shift dramatically, the latest forecasts will show.

Some professionals and tradespeople within the construction industry would be advised to consider switching to alternative sectors and regions as the location and type of work available over coming years is set to shift dramatically, the latest forecasts will show.

Set to be released next month, the latest semi-annual forecasts from Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF) say the impact of moderating economic growth is being felt across the country and is affecting the types of work available for professionals and tradespeople.

“The influence of international economics as well as domestic confidence and policy are strong across our industry” Australian Construction Industry Forum Executive Director Peter Barda says. “The well-worn patterns of past decades are no longer valid, and the emerging picture of the next ten years presented in this forecast release are important information for businesses large and small.”

Led by New South Wales, where stronger levels of activity will provide opportunities for workers left over from Victoria, the report says the residential sector will be one of the strongest areas of growth as record low levels of interest rates continue to stimulate demand for new housing construction and renovation and the industry benefits new greenfield developments as well as increasing numbers of apartments and townhouses in some suburbs and smaller-scale improvements to existing homes.

Meanwhile, whilst non-residential building will remain flat overall, the report says some areas of opportunity still beckon in this sector. As fears over internet shopping reducing overall sales evaporate, for example, shop owners and retail landlords are using the quiet time to remodel, extend and refresh their stores.

Some of these jobs will be delivered by workers returning home from the big money work in engineering construction, as the forecasts conclude that activity in mining has indeed peaked albeit with a significant volume of projects still under construction.

A number of former resource workers may also be absorbed into the road building sector amid decent levels of commitment on the part of federal and state governments with regard to transport infrastructure.

Meanwhile, the outlook for telecommunications work hinges largely on confirmation regarding the future of the National Broadband Network.

The latest forecasts follow last week’s release of a survey by Master Builders Australia which found that building industry sales contracts and profits were at or near decade lows.

The forecasts will be release at industry breakfasts being held next month.

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