Recently released forecasts for the construction industry show a fragmented outlook for the industry, with improving prospects for some sectors and a negative outlook for others. The water and sewerage sectors is forecasted to be the most productive sector for the next seven years.
“The Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF) Forecasts show that there is significant variability for our industry, depending upon work type and location,” said Executive Director of ACIF Peter Barda.
“Many of the cycles of the past are gone. There is a new “÷normal’, and for many, it will be poor in comparison to previous buoyant times. Businesses need to plan carefully using good quality information to find their new playing field,” Mr Barda said.
The ACIF Forecasts indicate that engineering construction will reach a peak in 2014 at $A120 billion per year as construction for the resources sector tapers off. Global uncertainties over demand for minerals has seen some major projects put on hold, while a surprisingly high level of work remains in water and sewerage.
Thanks to initiatives such as the Carbon Price Mechanism, National Broadband Network and the Renewable Energy Target scheme, this sector will continue to be the most productive industry sector for the next seven years.
ACIF said that the changing demand patterns and work types in the industry will have a large effect on construction industry employment, with declining requirements for high skilled workers over the forecast period, with growing needs for tradespeople and low skilled workers.
The type of work available, with the majority being regional engineering construction rather than urban residential and non-residential building, has seen a reduction in the number of apprenticeships available, which will have long term impacts on the skills of the industry – a major concern.
Hays Recruitment’s October to December Quarterly Report said that engineers are just three of the many skills that remain in demand as employers make strategic hires.
Hays said the report also highlights employers’ preference for candidates with like-for-like experience.
“Given that employers need to justify headcount increases, they are looking for candidates with like-for-like experience, including in the same industry and on the same systems,” said Managing Director of Hays in Australia Nick Deligiannis.
“With employers more strategic in their hires, they are also taking their time when they recruit to ensure that each placement is the right person for the job. As a result, the recruitment process has lengthened.
“For job seekers, this means it is not the time to break into a new industry. With employers more stringent in their selection criteria, candidates need to sharpen their existing skills and industry experience to enhance their value,” Mr Deligiannis said.