14 Aug 2017
9 out of 13 trade businesses face labour shortage
The latest Trades Report by the Housing Industry Association shows that 9 out of 13 trades in the industry are in moderate undersupply. Ranked at the top of the list; bricklaying is measured at -0.82 on the Association's index; showing a significant shortage in the business. The scores range from +2 to -2; scores between 0 and +1 represent a modest oversupply of the trade and the scores between + and -1 represent a modest undersupply. Finish trades; such as ceramic tiling at 0.56 and plastering at 0.44; also saw significant shortages. Other evident shortages include roofing; general building; joinery and painting. On the other hand; oversupplies are found in electrical; landscaping; plumbing and site preparation. Shortages are evident everywhere except for Perth and Western Australia. Sydney and regional South Australia witnessed a level of -0.50 and -0.41 shortage. With the rising levels of new home build activity in eastern states; more pressure is put on the supply of residential tradespeople. The trade pricing is being pushed upwards due to a labour shortage; but the price growth remains steady. The trade prices have increased by 2.7 per cent last year; with significant increases in other trades and joinery. Despite the slow-down of building approval data; the surge of the houses and apartments approved for construction suggests that home building activity remains strong. Data from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research suggests that; between June 2014 and June 2016; the number of construction trade apprentices in training increased from 43;200 to 50;800. However; the shortage problem has not been addressed completely.