Plumbers, electricians, plasterers and structural steel construction workers will be in hot demand in Cairns and Far North Queensland over the next few years as the city and surrounding areas prepare for a construction and infrastructure boom.
These jobs are about to boom as roads, education, health, tourism and community facilities start to take shape.
Contributing to a booklet launched by the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning called Cairns and Surrounds Major Projects Pipeline, independent industry body Construction Skills Queensland (CSQ) has put a spotlight on the skills that will be needed, and those that will be hardest to find in the region.
CSQ Director of Data and Evidence, Robert Sobyra, said the Far North Queensland region is facing a construction trade shortage of up to 15 per cent in 2019.
“The pipeline of major project activity in the Cairns and Surrounds Major Projects Pipeline booklet represents great opportunity for construction workers.
“We predict 80 per cent of the work on these major projects will be delivered by 20 trades. Of those 20 trades; plumbers, plasterers, and structural steel construction workers will be hardest to find locally,” he said.
CSQ is the peak industry body focused on building a skilled construction workforce and on supporting local responses to the industry’s workforce development needs across Queensland.
CEO Brett Schimming said the Far North Queensland boom was occurring across a range of industries in both the private and public sector but was particularly noticeable in commercial and residential building.
“It’s a great time to be a construction worker in Cairns,” he said.
“The level of activity in the residential and commercial building sector is predicted to increase by about 50 per cent by 2022 – which is an annual growth rate of about 11 per cent.
“This is an industry that’s going to be going from about $900 million a year (2017) in activity to about $1.6 billion in 2020/21.
“It provides a lot of opportunity for employment and for people to consider what training will help them capitalise on these job opportunities.
“CSQ helps major contractors and subcontractors build the skilled workforces that they will need to deliver everything outlined in the government’s booklet,” he said.
To find out more about the Cairns opportunities or consider new subsidised training options, visit