The demand for apprentices in Queensland’s construction industry has increased by more than 54% over the last decade according to a new CSQ report.

According to the CSQ 2016 Apprentice Annual, the apprentice intake rate was 4.1 apprentices per hundred workers in 2015. This figure is up from an intake of 2.7 per hundred in 2006.

With the exception of WA, Queensland’s apprentice growth outpaced all other states in this period.
The report also reveals that the construction industry took on more apprentices in 2015 as a proportion of its workforce than any other major Queensland industry.

CSQ CEO Brett Schimming said construction employers should be commended for supporting apprentices and trainees during a challenging time for the industry. 

“Despite the Global Financial Crisis and slowdown in the resources sector, the demand for apprentices in the Queensland construction industry is consistent and strengthening,” he said.  

“From 2006 to 2015, the number of qualified construction workers created by the apprenticeship system more than doubled.

“This is a credit to the industry which has recognised the importance of not only attracting new workers, but taking measures to retain existing apprentices.  

Brett added that CSQ has been working hard during the past decade to establish a strong training culture in the Queensland construction industry.

“We have run a number of successful programs which have helped students find a pathway into construction, funded targeted training programs to help build careers and retain workers in the industry and worked closely with contractors on major projects to ensure training is at the centre of workforce planning,” he said.

The report shows that the largest growth in apprentices has come from heavy and civil construction, with this sector now accounting for four times more apprentices than in 2008.

This result is remarkable given engineering construction work has fallen over this period. Meanwhile, the amount of residential work has increased. CSQ expects this trend to continue over the coming years.
Mr Schimming concluded that the industry was well placed to adapt to this change.

“When we experienced a construction boom in the mid 2000’s we were not prepared for the demands on our labour force and the industry experienced a skills shortage,” he said.

“We are now in a much stronger position to respond to a spike in industry activity. The heavy engineering boom years delivered a very capable and experienced pool of tradespeople who stand ready to meet the labour needs of current projects.”

“Our continued commitment to attracting talented people into the industry – and upskilling them throughout their careers – will ensure Queensland has a pipeline of skilled workers to meet future workforce needs.”

You can view the full Apprentice Annual here.