Despite COVID-19 restrictions causing significant delays and upheaval for the construction industry in both Victoria and NSW this year (with both states experiencing snap shutdowns) the Sunshine State's construction industry has experienced one of its busiest periods – especially within residential construction. And with increased demand comes increased job opportunities for those working within the industry. As of the beginning of this month, the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) has had its biggest jump in license numbers in more than five years from interstate tradies (Cartwright, 2021). According to QBCC data, applications for a mutual trade license (where you apply to have your credentials recognised in Queensland) have jumped from 541 at the end of the 2019/2020 financial year to 821 at the end of the 2020/2021 financial year. Interestingly, the majority of applications (408) came from NSW, while Victoria had the biggest spike in applications as 161 tradies moved north in 2020/21 compared to just 83 in 2019 (Cartwright, 2021).
So, why are tradies flocking to Queensland in record numbers? There are two key reasons. The first is that over the last year Queensland and its construction industry hasn’t experienced the same level of restrictions and lockdowns as other Australian states. For the majority of the year, the state has been able to carry on as normal, with residents allowed to enjoy a relative amount of freedom (in comparison to both Victoria and NSW who have experienced significant lockdowns both this year and last) while key construction projects like Queen’s Wharf and the Cross River Rail station developments have experienced minimal disruptions. This paired with a mild climate and housing affordability has contributed to the state experiencing the biggest net interstate migration in Australia over the last year (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2021). This has then had a direct impact on the number of new home sales and inquiries. In fact, Metricon Queensland predicted residential building activity will have increased by 40 per cent by the end of 2021, which again is an alluring statistic for those working within the residential construction space and considering a move interstate (Cumming, 2021). In addition to the housing and property market, high rates of population growth led to an increase in infrastructure spending, as the government tries to ensure its transport, education, health care and essential services can adequately keep pace with the rate of growth (The Real Estate Institute of Queensland, 2021). This in turn fuels the construction industry and leads to new opportunities.
The second significant factor for the influx of tradies arriving in the Sunshine state is due to the number of HomeBuilder grants. Queensland has become one of the biggest beneficiaries of HomeBuilder; more than a fifth of the almost 110,000 approved new builds under the federal government’s HomeBuilder scheme that closed in April, were located in Queensland (Cartwright, 2021). This translates to big business for the residential construction sector and home builders are already starting to feel the pressure as more and more building approvals are processed. In addition to the HomeBuilder grants, the Queensland government also unveiled a series of COVID-relief packages to provide further contract work to the construction industry in the form of new social housing and TAFE campus upgrades. According to the Queensland government, $100 million has been designated to the construction of more than 215 new social housing homes, which is to be tendered to QBCC licensed local builders. Meanwhile, more than $1.17 million has been allocated to upgrade regional QLD TAFE campuses (Tradiepad, 2020).
As Master Builder’s Association Queensland deputy CEO Paul Bidwell said in a statement earlier this month, the spike in construction caused by both migration and COVID-19 stimulus packages will go ‘deep into next year’. This level of building demand presents an exciting opportunity for those working within the construction industry – especially those who are looking for a change of scenery or a new challenge (Cartwright, 2021). Even with so many having already migrated north for work, the state’s infrastructure pipeline and a surge of new home approvals, means are still plenty of jobs available across both residential, civil and commercial construction. And with plenty of sunshine and amazing wildlife and landscapes, what’s not to love about a move to the sunshine state?
For those interested in finding out more – either about the sector’s job market overall or specific opportunities, feel free to reach out directly at:
Phone: 0424 150 235
I’ve been working within the Queensland construction job market for a number of years, and have some exciting opportunities available.
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Cartwright, D. (2021). Tradies Are Migrating to Queensland In Record Numbers But more Are Needed, Industry Leaders Say. Courier Mail. Retrieved from: https://www.couriermail.com.au/property/tradies-are-migrating-to-queensland-in-record-numbers-but-more-are-needed-industry-leaders-say/news-story/2db69fa61f05a2c832533bc599fe8e5d
Australian Bureau of Statistics. (2021). Regional Internal Migration Estimates, Provisional. Australian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved from: https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/people/population/regional-internal-migration-estimates-provisional/latest-release
Cumming, S. (2021). Relocating to Queensland? Get in line, Sunshine State Builders Record Four-Fold Rise In New Home Enquiries. ABC Gold Coast. Retrieved from: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-01-23/surge-in-relocation-enquiries-in-mass-interstate-migration/13077342
The Real Estate Institute of Queensland (REIQ). (2021). What Interstate Migration Means For The Queensland Property Market. REIQ. Retrieved from: https://www.reiq.com/articles/interstate-migration/
Tradiepad. (2020). QLD COVID Stimulus For Tradies. Tradiepad. Retrieved from: https://www.tradiepad.com.au/start-learning/latest-news/qld-covid-stimulus-for-tradies/