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Trades & Labour

April - June 2016

A number of quality projects are expected to kick off this quarter in both city and remote locations so we expect an increase in the number of jobs in the trades and labour sector.

Employers are investing in their staff to retain talent and create a better workplace and team culture. Trends we continue to see include providing more flexibility to promote better work-life balance. However, to get through all the work required, many employees are still putting in long hours.

On the recruitment front, employers have sped up the time to hire often conducting a single interview for each candidate before making a hiring decision. We’re also seeing greater use of counter offers to retain talent.

In Sydney the massive Barangaroo project will see work start on its tallest building this quarter while other large projects are progressing well including Darling Harbour Live, Green Square in the inner-east and Parramatta Square in Parramatta to the west of the CBD.

We are also seeing a large increase in labour working on the massive infrastructure projects across Sydney from WestConnex to NorthConnex and the North West Rail Link in particular absorbing large amounts of skilled labour.

In Canberra we are seeing a significant increase in the use of supplement labour on construction projects. This is due to increased confidence in the industry and several key projects coming online in the last six months.

Employers are recognising the benefits of using a temporary labour force for managing an increase in workload during busy periods. 

Skills in demand 

In terms of the April to June quarter, General/Civil Labourers, Carpenters and Electricians are in solid demand for construction projects.

Carpenters, Plumbing Workers and Sheet Metal Workers are also in demand for large-scale commercial construction, particularly in Sydney.

As noted, we are also seeing massive demand for qualified, licensed Electricians. The many roads, rail and other civil projects taking place such as bridge building are creating high-level demand for a range of skilled labour. And roles for Civil Plant Operators are increasing due to a range of civil projects. This is driving salaries and hourly rates upwards.

Candidate trends 

Trades professionals are spoilt for choice when it comes to job roles with many opportunities presented to them simultaneously.

Carpenters in particular are in increasingly short supply.


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