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Massive trade shortage puts more pressure on the Australian construction industry

Australia is in the middle of its biggest tradition shortage in decades, with prices and demand adding further pressure to the construction industry.

The worker shortage is at the worst level since the industry records began, with the most acute shortages in bricklaying, carpentry and roofing.

Not only is there a worker shortage, but there is also a lack of building supplies.

Australia is facing a building frenzy but there is a lack of traditions, (9News)

Despite this, Australia is facing a building frenzy with more than 100,000 homes under construction.

This is 80 percent higher than pre-pandemic levels.

“The combination of all the factors we’ve seen over the past couple of years has resulted in the single biggest home building and renovations boom that we have ever seen,” Housing Industry Association (HIA) economist Tom Devitt said.

However, it has created a unique opportunity for people to enter the industry.

Tim Norrington, 23, is considered a “mature aged” carpentry apprentice after making the switch from being a musician and retail worker.

“It’s just brought so much stability to my life since I started,” Norrington said.

Tim Norrington, 23, is considered a
Tim Norrington made the switch to an apprenticeship during the pandemic. (9News)

More than 100,000 apprentices are currently in construction trades, up by around 25 per cent compared to pre-COVID-19 levels.

“The demand for skilled trades has been phenomenal over the last 12 months,” Geordan Murray, executive director of industry policy at HIA, said.

“Given the strong demand for construction trades, it’s presented some really strong opportunities for people.”

Tradies working at a construction site
Thousands of apprentices are in the process of training up for trades. (9News)

The construction industry may also be looking forward to positive news as the June quarter saw an easing in shipping container, oil and timber prices.

“2024 and 2025 is when we expect this pipeline to work its way down, in terms of prices and of availability, things should ease by then as well,” Devitt said.

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