The latest drop in unemployment to the lowest level in nearly 50 years is very positive news. However, it also highlights the need to grow workforce capacity to deliver the future construction pipeline.
Denita Wawn, CEO of Master Builders Australia said, “With the labour market at or near capacity, there is an urgent need for the Federal Government to encourage the return of migration, particularly skilled migration.”
“This is particularly the case for the building and construction industry which continues to be severely hampered by severe labour shortages,” she said.
“We need to find 477,000 additonal construction workers over the next 5 years, to deliver housing, commercial construction projects and federal and state government funded community, defence, and transport infrastructure projects,” Denita Wawn said.
“Master Builders wants to see a range of pragmatic measures implemented including:
- Urgently clearing the current visa backlog.
- Streamlining the visa application process for skilled migrants.
- Scrapping the Priority Migration Skills Occupation List (PMSOL) which was adopted during the pandemic and is no longer fit for purpose.
- A campaign to promote Australia as a desirable destination for overseas workers and overcome negative perceptions that have developed during the COVID-19 lockdowns.
“These are pragmatic measures that the Federal Government can act on immediately to protect growth and provide some much needed relief from workforce pressure,” Denita Wawn said.