The Australian Construction Industry
The latest CSIRO report reveals the future of the Australian construction industry. In fact, it identifies the trends and explores the potential impacts on the industry. Business owners should stay ahead socially, environmentally, and technologically to reap the benefits for their companies. Here are 5 construction industry trends that will shape the Australian economy in 2017-18.
Australian Housing unaffordability
The International Housing Affordability Survey by Demographia revealed that Australian housing was severely unaffordable in 2017. Sydney is rated as the second most unaffordable housing market in the world. Hong Kong is rated number one and Melbourne is at number six on this list. While the population increases, the average household size is on the decline. This has forced more and more people to look for cheaper housing options. In fact, inflation continues to affect the Australian construction industry. This has heightened cost-sensitivities around new development and maintenance of infrastructure in Australia.
Skill Shortage / Ageing Workforce
The ageing workforce in Australia is unable to keep up with the physical demands that are required in the construction industry. Although mature workers are in demand for their skills, their age is an impediment due to fatigue and other health issues. The new generation of apprentices lack skills – according to the Farsight report. With few young men and women seeing a career in construction desirable. This has led to a severe skill shortage that has exacerbated the affordability crisis in the industry. The current models of training are mostly flawed. Even while technology is developing, the industry still relies on manual labour. These pressures have resulted in the excessive strain on the current workforce.
Rise in severe weather conditions
Extreme weather conditions such as heatwaves and storms are causing significant upsets to construction projects – especially in the tropical regions. The frequency and severity of these impacts will increase with time. This will cause setbacks to infrastructural projects in Australia. The average temperature is predicted to increase around the year. Hence, the construction industry will suffer the most in the future.
Frequent weather changes affect the productivity of the industry during the warmer months of the year. In fact, Construction Estimating Software is being used in the industry so that the costs of extreme weather conditions are considered during the early stages of budgeting for the project. Since the industry has to depend on physical outdoor labour, research is being done to alleviate the risks associated with intensifying weather conditions. Employee monitoring, robotics, automation, and wearable technologies are promising solutions to ensure the safety of the workforce.
Poor Investment Planning
PMI – the US-based project management institute – revealed that Australia is way behind the global average. In fact, $108 million is wasted for every $1 billion spent on infrastructure. The Productivity Commission’s Report suggests improvements to finance public infrastructure projects. It calls for examining risks during contract negotiations. In fact, a growing infrastructure deficit calls for better planning, investment, and allocation of resources through the use of construction software. The estimate of the gap between the existing and the required stock of infrastructure was $300 billion – according to the report.
Competition from other growing economies in Asia
The emerging Asian economies have created an unprecedented need for speed in the construction process. They have developed accelerated prefabricated systems to keep up with the demand in infrastructure. Hence, Australia is pushed towards more cost-effective development solutions – such as cheap imports of prefabricated infrastructure and building components from Asia.
What does it mean for Construction induction card / whitecard training?
Australia will be forced to become more competitive and as such embrace change within the industry. We expect to need further changes in white card Australia training to keep up with new developments that will inevitably impact the construction industry.