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Property Council welcomes construction workforce funding boost, but says more needed to hit housing target


The Property Council of Australia has welcomed increased funding to boost Australia’s construction workforce as a positive first step in addressing labour shortages that threaten the nation’s housing targets, but says further immediate labour supply is required to hit the government’s ambitious goal of 1.2 million new homes.

Property Council Group Executive Policy and Advocacy Matthew Kandelaars said while more funding for vocational training was welcomed and necessary, projects are being delayed and costs are under pressure due to a lack of labour.

“The government’s ambitious 1.2 million new home target will require more tradies than we currently have,” Kandelaars said.

“Developing a training system to match our expanding national requirements is an important and welcome first step.”

However, Kandelaars noted that even outstanding training and TAFE programs alone will not fulfil the labour requirements for the ambitious national housing target, record infrastructure spends in nearly every state, and increasing demands for green energy infrastructure.

“While we welcome funding to streamline skills assessments for potential migrants in construction trades, we can and must set our sights even higher,” he said.

“Only 1.8 per cent of our skilled migrant intake has been comprised of new construction workers over the past two decades, falling significantly short of what we need.”


Kandelaars called on the government to prioritise a greater percentage of skilled migrants entering Australia with construction qualifications to meet the nation’s housing demands, even as the overall migrant intake is intelligently managed down.

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