Demand for skilled labour is on the rise and expected to continue climbing as a recovery in new home building takes hold.
The Housing Industry Association’s trades report, based on a survey of builders and sub-contractors, shows demand for skilled labour in the residential construction industry increased in the September quarter.
The availability of skilled tradespeople fell moderately, pointing to an improvement in labour demand, the report said.
HIA chief economist Harley Dale said the availability of residential skilled labour had been in surplus for ten consecutive quarters, but that trend appeared to have passed its peak.
“More recently we have seen a first round of new home building recovery taking hold and conditions have improved for a revival in renovations activity from a ten-year low,” Dr Dale said.
“A moderate improvement in demand for skilled labour in the latest trades report update is consistent with this environment for residential building and we should see further improvements in labour demand in coming quarters.”
Further declines in the availability of skilled labour could be expected if a residential building recovery continues, he said.
“The challenge will be to ensure that this doesn’t turn into a chronic shortage while we wait for adequately skilled labour to enter into the workforce,” Dr Dale said.