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$vuetify.icons.faPhone1300 650 620

1.2 million homes can’t be built with only a few hands

Media release

1.2 million homes can’t be built with only a few hands

Media release
“The delivery of the Government national Housing Accord which aims to build 1.2 million new homes, can only be realised by increasing skilled labour and apprentices in Australia and this year’s Federal budget must show leadership in addressing this key issue,” HIA Managing Director, Jocelyn Martin said today.

Ms Martin’s comments come after the release of the HIA Trades Report that found across the building sector there is an acute shortage of skilled trades that is only being compounded by other government programs drawing workers away from the residential building industry.

“There has always been a problem of supplying the industry with enough skilled trades people, but recently infrastructure projects have absorbed a lot of skilled trades, as has mining and other non-residential projects, resulting in shortages.

“The government needs to address this shortage, through either financial incentives or through addressing weaknesses in the skilled trade visa system.

“Financial incentives that encourage the employment of an apprentice and improve retention have proved invaluable to helping the construction industry to access more workers.

“There is obviously a lot of stress currently being felt in the industry, builders will have to make financial decisions for their business, some of which will impact the supply of new apprentices being trained for the workforce.

“At a time when it is critical to avoid anything which will impact the ability to supply homes, HIA is encouraging the Australian Government to maintain the current national Priority Wage Subsidy funding arrangements for employers to take on apprentices. We ask Minister O’Connor to, at the very least, maintain the existing subsidies beyond 1 July while the Review of the Australian Apprentice Incentive System takes place.

“Immigration settings that allow the building industry to access skilled labour from overseas to respond to the boom-and-bust cycles caused by government policy are also needed.

“Research conducted by the HIA shows that the building industry sits third last on the list of industries that benefit from Australia’s skilled visa program, this must change.

“In its pre-budget submission HIA has outlined the need to increase skilled migration and attract new apprentices and other workers to increase the supply of new housing.

“The Government’s push to make things in Australia, under the Future Australia Made program, is commendable but won’t get out of the starting gate if there isn’t an adequate supply of skilled labour.

“Similarly, the push on net zero reforms by governments places a real risk on more workers being directed into other industries and away from key demand workers in our industry. 

“HIA is eagerly awaiting this year’s budget announcements to see how the government proposes to address this key problem that is holding back the ability of the home building sector to build the 1.2 million much-needed homes,” concluded Ms Martin.

For more information please contact:

Jocelyn Martin

Managing Director

Joe Shanahan

Manager, Communications & Media
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