The residential construction industry is booming in WA, however, the perfect storm of dual federal and state building bonus grants, the set timelines for construction companies to be eligible for these grants and the inability to recruit interstate or international workers has created an unprecedented demand that companies can’t keep up with.
In fact, in March, WA Today reported that builders had started approaching rival job sites with offers of bonuses and other incentives to try and lure workers to their own projects (Ingram, 2021). A snapshot of the residential construction industry provided by the Government of Western Australia in July stated that the increase in dwelling approvals in WA for the 2020-21 year to date had increased by 89% when compared to the previous year (Government of Western Australia, 2021). While according to the Urban Development of WA, over the course of 2020 greenfield lot sales increased by a whopping 128% (Ingram, 2021). Meanwhile, in January the WA Builders Association predicted that 200,000 homes will have commenced construction in WA by the end of this year; a significant increase from the previous year (Lynch, 2021).
On top of this, in the Western Australian state budget for 2021-22 which was released this September, it was announced that $875 million will be committed to social housing, taking the total investment in this budget to $2.1 billion; a record social housing investment for the state. This investment is expected to fund around 3,300 new social housing properties and again bodes for an exceptionally busy pipeline for the residential construction industry (Government of Western Australia, 2021).
These statistics paint a picture of an industry stretched beyond capacity in many areas. There are only so many workers to go around and approvals and greenlot sales show no sign of slowing down. Furthermore, the strict timelines that new homes need to have commenced, in order for homeowners to be eligible for government grants are putting even more pressure on building companies. According to the Housing Industry Association of WA, new home builds like this haven’t been seen since the peak of the 2015 boom, and border restrictions have made it even more difficult to source labour (Ingram, 2021). Filling and securing workers within wet trades like bricklaying and plastering have been the most difficult, with many local Perth bricklayers claiming they’ve been run off their feet and having to turn down jobs (Lynch, 2021). But shortages are being experienced across the board from plumbers and electricians to site supervisors and project managers.
To help manage these significant skills shortages, the WA government has invested $121.4 million in training initiatives, including $32.4 million to get new building and construction apprentices and trainees working on State Government projects. However, with so many prioritised projects needing to start work immediately - especially for homeowners wanting to take advantage of the HomeBuilder grant – experts within the industry are worried these training initiates aren’t enough to relieve the pressure builders are currently feeling.
While the current market doesn’t bode well for homeowner hopefuls (as labour shortages are causing substantial delays), it presents a significant opportunity for skilled workers within the residential construction space.
The unique set of circumstances created by COVID-19 and government incentives has meant that the range of roles for skilled and eligible workers within the industry are enormous. And, with border restrictions looking to ease in the coming months, the booming WA construction industry can pose some great opportunities for interstate workers looking for a new challenge or change of scenery.
For those interested in finding out more – either about the Perth residential construction market in general or specific opportunities, feel free to reach out to our dedicated Perth office. Our Perth consultants are working on a number of exciting opportunities that might be the perfect fit! Similarly, for organisations with urgent resourcing needs, we have a professional database of over 55,000 professionals and are dedicated to helping you secure the best candidates to help you achieve your business requirements.
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Ingram, Tess. (2021). WA Tradies are Hot Property as Home Building Goes Through The Roof. WA Today. Retrieved from: https://www.watoday.com.au/national/western-australia/wa-tradies-are-hot-property-as-home-building-goes-through-the-roof-20210319-p57cel.html
 Government of Western Australia. (2021). Residential Building Material and Labour Shortages. Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety. Retrieved from: https://www.commerce.wa.gov.au/publications/residential-building-material-and-labour-shortages
 Lynch. Jacqueline. (2021). Bricklayer shortage could blow out timelines for housing, taking advantage of HomeBuilder. Retrieved from: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-01-23/bricklayer-shortage-blows-out-contruction-timelines/13078272
 Government of Western Australia. Stronger, safer communities. Western Australia State Budget 2021-22. Retrieved from: https://www.ourstatebudget.wa.gov.au/2021-22/communities.html
The Company/Project: I have been engaged exclusively to assist a successful national Tier 2 builder who have offices in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney & Brisbane to source a Site Manager to join their Perth operations. Having been around for 40+ years and specialising in the Commercial, Government & Defence sectors, they're a business that is well respected and known for delivering on time and to budget Due to strategic growth in Perth, they're now in a position to appoint a full time permanent Site Manager to lead the delivery of a $6.7m Government project North East of Perth CBD. This is a purpose built facility and includes associated works inc civil, landscaping, street access, parking, head works and services This an exciting time to join the business as they're growing from strength to strength and leveraging off their reputation to secure more work in WA. The Role: Reporting to the Construction Manager, your responsibilities will include: Daily co-ordination and management of site activities Forward planning of trade activities and assisting trades Co-ordination of documents Quality and environmental compliance Chairing subcontractors meetings and other meetings Proactive to resolving construction and documentation issues Checking documentation and shop drawings for accuracy Handling of site health and safety, industrial issues Knowledge of current relevant work practices and standards Working knowledge of building industry contracts Liaising with consultants and client and client representatives Dealing with government and utilities officers About You: To be successful in this role, you will have: Experience as a Site Supervisor/Site Manager on commercial construction projects in excess of $3m Trade background or tertiary qualification Strong organisational skills and excellent time management Ability to work to deadlines A keen eye for detail and a commitment to quality What's in it for you? $130k-$140k + Super (Vehicle also available) Long term work close to home Working for an established and well respected brand If this sounds like the job for you please contact Ian Bond today on 0424 150 536 or apply now.
The Company: A successful and sizeable home builder, have partnered with Design & Build to add a Site Supervisor to the team, to manage double storey homes, with a run available in the central Perth area. With continued steady sales and an operating history of 25+ years, this builder has stood the test of time and is now in a position to hire for either a pre or post Christmas start. The Role: Reporting to the Construction Manager and Building Manager, your responsibilities will include: Ensured effective management of trades on site, suppliers, completion of paperwork and admin tasks. Coordination of supplies and materials to be delivered Ensuring projects are delivered on time and budget Ensuring compliance with OH&S legislation Liaising with clients Quality checking on jobs About You: To be successful in this role, you will have: 2+ years experience as a Site Supervisor on residential homes Trade background or tertiary qualification Strong organisational skills and excellent time management Ability to work to deadlines and manage multiple sites A keen eye for detail and a commitment to quality What's in it for you? $100k - $110k + Super + Vehicle + Phone + iPad Long term work close to home Working for an established and well respected brand If this sounds like the job for you please contact Ian Bond today on 0424 150 536 or apply now.
The Company: They're are an established residential builder in the project and custom homes space, with decades of trading history, and countless awards to their name. A team of c50 employees and a family feel environment, this company is one that tends to fly under the radar, regardless of its success. The business has an opportunity for a site based Supervisor to deliver a large 6 stage development South of the River. Once this project is complete, there is also the guarantee of continuous future work, close to home. The Role: Reporting to the Construction Manager, your responsibilities will include: Scheduling and managing trades and sub-contractors on site Coordination of supplies and materials to be delivered Ensuring projects are delivered on time and budget Ensuring compliance with OH&S legislation Liaising with clients Quality checking on jobs About You: To be successful in this role, you will have: Experience as a Site Supervisor/Site Manager on residential homes Trade background or tertiary qualification Strong organisational skills and excellent time management Ability to work to deadlines and manage multiple sites A keen eye for detail and a commitment to quality What's in it for you? $105k - $110k + Super + Car Long term work close to home Working for an established and well respected brand If this sounds like the job for you please contact Ian Bond today on 0424 150 536 or apply now.