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Build careers for the future

Policy Priority #6

Build careers for the future

Policy Priority #6

It is recognised that the average person leaving school today will have up to 15 different jobs in their lifetime.

This may mean changing careers, but for many it will mean changing roles within a career journey. A career in residential building is limitless – the industry offers a vast array of opportunities – working on the tools whether onsite or offsite, working in design or construction management, or running the company from administration to business operations.

The residential building industry is founded on vocational education and training. Over the next five years new technologies and new building materials will emerge that seek to increase the level of prefabrication and offsite construction creating pressure to change what we build with and how we build. Despite this pressure, the nature of residential building is expected to continue to focus on the delivery of ‘hand made’ homes produced by a technically skilled workforce.

The pressure from the pandemic on Australia’s local workforce has generated a spike in the take up of apprentices and trainees – an extremely positive side effect. These graduates will emerge into the workforce needing both technical and life skills to assist them to move through their career in the industry with greater ease.

HIA will focus on ways to gain, train and retain people of all ages and to grow the workforce that can deliver the homes we need over the next decade.


Make home building a career of choice by:

  • Reducing the complexity of training pathways into building trades
  • Attracting and retaining young people to complete a building trade
  • Creating a safe workplace for all
  • Gaining recognition of ‘soft skills’ and identifying ways to connect these skill sets with vocational learning

Provide a workforce that meets our housing demand by:

  • Supporting industry training that delivers work ready graduates year on year
  • Removing the caps on permanent skilled migration
  • Establishing a visa category for temporary skilled migrants seeking to operate as a business rather than an employee

Allow people to learn what they want the way they want to by:

  • Identifying training funding arrangements that are flexible to suit the needs of the student
  • Reducing the productivity gap for hosts to hire and retain apprentices and trainees
  • Improving the opportunities for adult apprentices to enter the industry
  • Creating pathways and choices from school to work
  • Recognising the value of skill sets and micro credentials
  • Creating flexible pathways into work that recognise new skills associated with emerging building materials and techniques

Support ongoing learning for all practitioners by:

  • Developing practical and affordable education pathways that suit the needs of industry practitioners to access continual learning
  • Recognising the importance and benefits of training delivered by industry for industry
  • Identifying practical ways to teach ‘soft skills’ and provide support for people as they grow into their careers