Queensland employers in the construction industry are being encouraged to continue to invest in training following the release of the 2015 Major Projects Report Update which shows the skills required of the industry are changing.
Prepared by Construction Skills Queensland and the Queensland Major Contractors Association, the report provides an updated forecast on Major Project work taking place in Queensland over the next five years. During this period, declining resource investment is expected to result in a shift away from mines, plants and supply chain infrastructure towards commercial and residential building types.
CSQ CEO Brett Schimming said this represented a significant workforce planning challenge for the industry.
“As anticipated, we are seeing engineering construction activity return to a normal level after reaching a historic high during the resources boom.
“However there are still many large projects on the horizon so it is vital we retain a skilled pool of workers. The amount of funded major project work in Queensland has increased from our forecasts earlier this year which is a good sign for the industry.
“Civil construction occupations will continue to be important to help build and maintain infrastructure assets including railways, ports and harbours, roads, water and sewerage, pipelines, energy and telecommunications.
“It is vital these skills are retained by the industry to meet the next cycle of construction work that will be shaped by private and public infrastructure along with resource investment decisions,” he said.
The report highlights public investment as a key growth driver for major projects in the coming years.
The Queensland State Government recently released a Draft State Infrastructure Plan which provides a blueprint for managing future growth and delivering a long-term program of infrastructure projects. Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull has also signalled plans to boost infrastructure investment.
Mr Schimming added there was further cause for optimism in the construction industry.
“A recovery is taking place in the residential and commercial sectors which is helping to soften the decline in resources activity.
“Across the state we are seeing an increase in housing approvals and strong growth in high-rise building developments.
“CSQ is working closely with industry and government to ensure that these sectors have the right skills, in the right place and at the right time.
“A flexible and innovative construction workforce is more vital than ever to meet the skills demands of the future,” he said.