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October - December 2015

New South Wales

The large amount of work in New South Wales’ construction market is being fuelled by government and overseas investments in the industrial, residential, commercial, health and hospitality industries. Smaller SMEs are also set to grow and take on more work. As a result, the recruitment market is very healthy.

In addition, we are seeing an increasing number of refurbishing projects in Sydney’s CBD, while the city’s hotel sector is extremely busy thanks to upgrades and new openings. Major projects such as Westconnex and a government-led focus on retirement living and university projects are also adding to vacancy activity.

Civil construction is picking up too, and in around six months this market should be as active as building is today.

In response, we’re seeing high demand for Project Managers for residential, commercial, hospitality and public sector projects.

Given the large amount of work underway Contacts Administrators, Estimators, site construction staff and Site Managers/Forepersons are also all in high demand.

Quantity Surveyors on the commercial side are sought too. Since Contracts Administrators are in short supply, employers are hiring Quantity Surveyors to complete the same work, which reduces the talent pool further.

Finally, Construction Managers are sought to work on high-end hotel projects.

Northern Territory

In the Northern Territory residential housing is still busy, and is creating demand for tradespeople and Site Managers.

Estimators are needed too as the Northern Territory Government release tenders for infrastructure projects and companies compete for work.

Client-side Project Managers with defence experience are in high demand in response to the high number of defence projects that are expected over the next decade.

Finally, Revit Drafters are sought due to the large volume of design work coming through from the Northern Territory Government.


In Tasmania, good skilled tradespeople are in short supply due to a spike in commercial building in Hobart. The level of work currently underway is expected to keep most companies busy for the next two years. It is encouraging to witness the changing skyline thanks to the lift in building construction.

With new confidence in the industry, the number of large commercial building projects underway has fuelled high demand for Formwork Carpenters, Steel fixers/skilled Labourers, and Fit-out Carpenters.

Building services Design Engineers and building Structural Engineers are also sought.


Queensland’s construction market is still feeling the positive impact of the residential sector. There is a demand for mid-rise residential buildings in the outskirts of the city where smaller developers are purchasing blocks outside the CBD. This is leading to high demand for site based Contracts Administrators to drive subcontractor procurement and negotiations.

We are also seeing a very competitive supermarket and retail industry. Aldi is building a number of new stores around Brisbane, which is in turn leading to Coles and Woolworths upgrading their existing stores in these areas. With all this activity occurring at the same time we have seen increased demand for Site Managers, Supervisors and Project Managers who have previous experience working at live stores. This is important since candidates need to be able to interact with customers and the clients.

The Gold Coast market is becoming very active with a number of new projects underway or soon to commence. The Gold Coast has been a sleeping giant; last year a lot of the local workforce secured work in Brisbane. Today projects are happening and there is a skills shortage of candidates who have worked on larger projects exceeding $100 million. This will remain a major growth area over the next few years.


Canberra’s construction market continues to grow as a result of local and international investment. High rise commercial and mixed-use residential remains the focus, coupled with new projects and refurbishment projects stimulated by the university sector. Given the pipeline of projects that will commence, we are seeing demand for Contract Administrators, Senior Site Managers and Project Managers with proven experience delivering projects of $50m or more.

Fit out Estimators are highly sought after in response to the Federal Government’s downsizing of office space, co-locations and changes within departments.

Due to the local government releasing small to medium scale infrastructure packages, demand has increased from consultancies for Civil Engineers with ACT Government experience.

In other trends, soon to be formally announced is the ACT Government’s first $150m PPP project for the Supreme Court. In addition, there are plans for an $800m light rail project for the city under a PPP arrangement.

Candidate trends

In terms of candidate trends, more people in New South Wales are looking to work closer to home, which has resulted in employers offering incentives to compensate for longer hours and travelling time.

When looking for their next role, candidates view job security highly. They want to discuss the longevity of major projects and their potential future within the company.

Finally, networking events such as those put on by the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) and Master Builders Australia (MBA) are attracting more attention from candidates, who want to be part of a wider network.


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