New areas of investment predicted to drive Queensland’s construction industry skills

Construction Skills Queensland (CSQ) will invest over $36 million to guide skills development in Queensland’s construction industry, ensuring the workforce keeps up with innovative ways to deliver on the built environment needs of the future.

The Training Plan 2018-19, released today by CSQ, predicts that slowing growth in the residential construction market will be somewhat offset by the strong pipeline of government projects and increased engineering developments, which will see the Queensland construction industry levelling out over the coming years.

CSQ CEO, Brett Schimming, said that the biggest change expected in the construction industry is technological advancements – both digital technologies and new and improved products and building methodologies. To support the changing nature of work, CSQ is investing in programs and services which support the industry’s capacity to be more innovative and productive.

“The Training Plan 2018-19 outlines the areas in which CSQ will offer training and skills development to help the workforce keep up with the evolving needs of the industry.”

“We have has increased our investment in the Major Projects Training Program to $2 million – a 33% increase compared to the previous year – to ensure that Queensland has a skilled workforce that can deliver the significant pipeline of projects across the state,” Mr Schimming said.

For the first time, CSQ will invest $500,000 into the new Trade Ready program which will offer additional skills and experiences to individuals who have completed a Certificate I in Construction, to build their job readiness and prepare them for a career in construction.

Mr Schimming said that CSQ will continue to invest in training that helps workers adapt to the changing nature of the industry and supports professional and career progression by encouraging the industry to invest in upskilling and training.

“Over the next year, CSQ will invest $10 million in short courses to provide workers in the building and construction industry with access to flexible training responses that can help them meet identified skills needs, get licenses they need and support continuous learning,” he said.

Given the forecast growth in civil construction activity, CSQ has committed $4 million to providing pathways for new entrants into the civil sector– a 48% increase in investment in this area compared to the previous year. This investment will also help existing civil sector workers build their skills and take advantage of new opportunities. The Civil Construction Training program will be delivered in partnership with the Queensland Department of Employment, Small Business and Training under a co-investment model, with the government contributing an additional $2.9 million.

A further $4 million has been committed to providing higher-level skills to those working in the residential and commercial sectors of the industry, while $3 million has been allocated to providing pathways for individuals to have their existing skills recognised and providing the gap training needed to achieve nationally recognised qualifications.

CSQ knows that a diverse workforce adds to the capacity of the industry to deliver projects on time, to budget and of a quality standard which is why we have doubled our investment in Diversity Programs in 2018-19. This investment will target industry-driven programs and initiatives that encourage the entry, participation and retention of workers from a diverse range of backgrounds, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and women.

“Whilst suicide rates among construction workers have been dropping, we appreciate there is still more to be done to prevent suicide in the industry, retain skilled workers and contribute towards healthy and safe workplaces,” said Mr Schimming.

“That is why this year we have developed a new Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Program which will allow us to work with industry partners to deliver suicide prevention and mental health initiatives to workers in our industry.”

“The investment outlined in this year’s Training Plan will help the industry adopt and transition to new technologies, provide equal access to professional development, and bridge the gaps in qualifications,” Mr Schimming said.