Commercial and residential sectors of the trades industry is forecast experience growth in the medium term.
Commercial and residential sectors of the trades industry is forecast experience growth in the medium term. Geoff Potter

Strong jobs prospect for travelling tradies

BACKTRACK only a few years, and the typical tradie started their day loading their ute at home, before a drive to the job site.

Today, it's a different story, with a growing number of construction workers taking to the skies and criss-crossing the country rather than getting behind the wheel of their own vehicle.

The growth of fly-in fly-out jobs hasn't been restricted to those involved directly in mining and resources. It has also impacted on industries like construction, which provide support and downstream services to the resources sector.

The latest edition of Construction Skills Queensland's quarterly Console publication provides an overview of the state's building and construction industry, tracking the movements of workers across 11 Queensland regions using data from the 2011 Census of Population and Housing.

The report traces the movement of workers from areas of soft conditions to regions with higher activity, revealing a highly dynamic south-east Queensland region with large numbers of resident workers travelling to other regions for work.

The report reveals the industry's workforce rose 5.5% in February to be at its highest level since 2008, while the largest employment growth took place in the state's south-west region comprising of Toowoomba and the Surat Basin, with an extra 6700 building and construction workers now employed in the area.

Workers from south-east Queensland represented more than 80% of those travelling to Central Queensland and more than 70% of those travelling to Mackay for work.

CSQ CEO Brett Schimming said resource-exposed regions had seen strong conditions for workers in line with demand for housing and other commercial buildings, while market conditions of the residential and commercial sectors of the industry remained soft, particularly in the south-east.

"We expect the commercial and residential sectors of our industry to experience growth in the medium term and we cannot assume these skills needs will be met solely by workers transitioning back from the engineering construction sector," he said.

Mr Schimming said CSQ was working to ensure the industry retained training in all areas of the state.



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