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Building trades remain in high demand

“The shortage of skilled trades continued to deteriorate in December and remains the most significant shortage on record,” stated HIA Economist, Angela Lillicrap.

The HIA Trades Report released provides a quarterly review of the availability of skilled trades and any demand pressures on trades operating in the residential building industry. The HIA Trades Index declined from -0.69 to -0.84 in the December 2021 quarter, with any number below zero indicating a skills shortage.

“A boom in detached house construction and renovations has seen demand for land, labour and materials skyrocket. These constraints have pushed out construction timeframes. As a result, skilled trades are expected to be in high demand throughout 2022 and into 2023,” added Ms Lillicrap.

“Skilled migration is the pivotal to alleviate the pressure on skilled trades in the short-term.

“While permanent and short-term visas are part of Australia’s skilled migration program and the building trades that have been in the most acute shortages are included on lists of eligible occupations, there has been very little take up within the construction industry, particularly the residential building industry.

“Several aspects of these visas render them impractical for use by residential building businesses.

“HIA’s 2022-2023 Pre-Budget Submission recommends that the government consult with industry to develop a visa that will enable the residential building industry to alleviate trade shortages through skilled migration.

“All trades recorded a deterioration in availability during the December 2021 quarter. Bricklaying, carpentry, joinery, roofing, general building and other trades have reported the most severe shortages on record.

“Brisbane, Regional Queensland and Regional Western Australia reported a small quarterly improvement in the availability of trades. These small improvements reflect quarterly volatility, not a material improvement in the supply of trades. All areas continue to report a severe shortage of skilled trades,” concluded Ms Lillicrap.

Source: HIA

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