High-rise residential and mixed-use commercial projects remain the focus in the Australian Capital Territory. Following the wettest period in Canberra's history, the civil market is busier with land being released and road projects commencing. As a result, civil contractors are increasing headcounts, with Contract Administrators, Civil Forepersons, Project Managers and Site Managers with proven experience in residential, commercial or civil all in high demand but short supply.
We are seeing sustained demand in New South Wales for experienced construction professionals across all project types. Companies are willing to hire candidates without projects to start them on and there have even been sporadic cases of sign-on bonuses.
Counter offers are increasing, meaning that large salary rises are attainable for candidate with in-demand skills, including Site Managers, Contract Administrators and Engineers.
More Australians and New Zealanders are returning from overseas, which is a welcome trend.
Most employers are open to recruiting on either a temporary or permanent basis. Some candidates are opting out of the permanent market to take on more lucrative contracts that offer increased project exposure in a short timeframe.
The Northern Territory is seeing an increased need for Project Managers and Senior Project Managers on the client side with defence industry experience.
While Brisbane’s apartment market is starting to cool in response to high vacancy rates, the project home market remains very strong. Brisbane City Council announced in late 2016 that over the next 10 years they would like to see an additional 220,000 homes built in the outer ring of Brisbane. This will be achieved through the subdivision of council property and park land, which will create vacancy activity.
The commercial market is still strong and there are also a number of defence projects underway, adding to vacancy activity.
The commercial construction market will gain momentum this quarter with some solid projects commencing.
Senior CA's and Project Engineers are in short supply in the civil and commercial markets. Demand for experienced civil delivery specialists will outstrip supply this quarter, as will the need for Estimators across commercial, civil and residential.
Permanent opportunities are increasing, which hasn’t happened in the state for some time.
The Victorian construction market remains extremely buoyant, with high demand for skilled workers across the board in all sectors. Candidate shortages in Melbourne are expected to continue given infrastructure and commercial construction projects.
The residential and apartment market remains very active, although it may slow in the coming two to three years.
The commercial market is extremely strong with continued growth in aged care, education and healthcare projects.
With Melbourne’s $1.6 billion sky rail project now underway, a number of entry and senior level opportunities will become available.
In Western Australia several large publicly funded projects have commenced to improve the road system and add a new rail line. This will create vacancy activity in civil construction this quarter. Temporary assignments will be on offer for highly skilled construction professionals to work on the delivery and project controls side.
Hotspots of demand
Contract Administrators with commercial experience are needed due to the ACT’s buoyant commercial construction sector.
Site Managers with multi-storey residential experience remain in high demand too thanks to the number of projects underway.
Civil Forepersons with proven subdivision experience are also needed. This is in response to civil contractors winning projects with the ACT Government.
Finally, Civil Supervisors with experience across utilities, rail or large road projects are sought by civil contractors.
In Sydney, Site Managers with residential and commercial construction experience are in demand in response to the large number of residential projects underway.
Contract Administrators are needed too in the building construction market. However there is a shortage of qualified Contract Administrators across all areas of construction.
Given the increased level of residential building projects, there is high demand for Sales and Production Estimators at all levels to join project home builders in Sydney.
Project Managers are needed too across NSW’s residential and commercial construction markets.
Finally, Building Engineers and Building Services Engineers are needed in regional NSW where a large number of complex construction projects are due to commence over the next 12 months.
In the Northern Territory there is high demand for client side Project Managers in defence. The defence white paper highlighted necessary upgrades, and this is fuelling demand.
Civil Project Engineers are also sought in response to infrastructure projects, while Contracts Administrators are needed to work on projects.
Estimators are in demand in Queensland to work for project home builders in response to the large increase in the number of residential builds.
For similar reasons project home builders also need Supervisors.
Site Managers with a defence background are another area of demand. Given the number of projects that require secret clearances, employers are looking for candidates with previous defence experience.
Like much of the country, Contracts Administrators are needed – in Queensland the demand exists in the commercial sector. There is a shortage of qualified CA's since employers did not employ cadets during the downturn.
Across commercial, civil and residential construction there is still very high demand for experienced Estimators. Sales Estimators in particular are in short supply in the residential market.
Commercial Site Managers are needed in South Australia as projects commence this quarter.
Civil Project Engineers are needed. Five major infrastructure projects are about to commence. Add the previous movement of these candidates to the eastern states for work, and there is a shortage of Project Engineers for the civil market in South Australia.
Senior Contracts Administrators are sought in response to the sheer number of projects that are about to commence.
Residential Site Supervisors, both new build and repair and maintenance, are needed to work for insurance repair builders. This is due to South Australia’s wet winter and the resulting water and hail damage.
Within the residential and apartment sector, Site Managers with high-rise experience and Contract Administrators are in demand thanks to a number of large scale inner-city developments.
Within the fit-out and refurbishment sector, Entry-level Contract Administrators and Site Managers with retail or education experience remain highly sought after.
Demand is increasing for Project Managers with aged care and/or healthcare experience as these sectors grow.
Western Australia is experiencing greatest demand for Civil Estimators to work for small to medium sized businesses.
Civil Supervisors are also sought in response to the land development industry’s desire for more skilled teams.
Finally, OHW Engineers are required to work on the construction of a large electrified rail network.
Commercially savvy candidates with skills in demand are able to fully leverage market conditions to advance their career.