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Construction skills demand set to change in next 10 years

WHERE ARE THEY? Gladstone will be in desperate need of more skilled workers.
WHERE ARE THEY? Gladstone will be in desperate need of more skilled workers. Brenda Strong

GLADSTONE will need more structural steel workers, plant operators and concreters by the year 2022.

But demand for bricklayers, carpenters and plasterers is tipped to dive.

A statewide report has predicted the future needs of the construction industry in Central Queensland.

It found a 41% growth in capital expenditure in the region would drive the growing demand.

Construction Skills Queensland chief executive officer Brett Schimming said the building boom would shake up the workforce.

"Growth in population and capital expenditure over the next 10 years in Queensland means we will still need building and construction skills, but where and how these tradespeople work will change," he said.

"The report pinpoints the shift in skills composition over the next decade, confirming there can no longer be one picture of all of Queensland.

"Central Queensland has its own specific needs," he said.

As a consequence of the rise of certain trades, others will be become less prevalent.

Gladstone Area Group Apprentices Limited operations manager John Holgate said the shift was no surprise.

"Gladstone's strong construction industry is continually building and requires needs of these trades," he said.

"At the moment those trades normally go hand in hand with the construction industry."

The report predicts the growing demand will see more families come to Gladstone, as well as single workers.

But Mr Holgate said it was not clear whether fly in fly out workers could also fill the gap.

"It depends a lot on if we have sufficient housing," he said.

"Provided we have the accommodation for the workers, (the proportion of FIFO workers) shouldn't increase."

A new report on FIFO shows regional Queensland is one of the biggest centres for the non-resident workers, with 12,061 FIFOs counted in the 2011 census.

Mr Schimming said he hoped the report would prevent future skills shortages, and encourage more workers into construction.

"The report is good news for current building and construction apprentices and trainees who can be confident their skills will remain in demand," he said.

Topics:  central queensland, construction, employment, skills


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