WA Skilled Civil Labour Shortage Worsens

Western Australia’s civil construction industry is feeling the pinch after over a year of COVID international and inter-state worker restrictions. According to a recent survey conducted by the Civil Contractors Federation (CCF WA), the industry is lacking 3,900 additional workers to tackle the current stream of infrastructure projects. 

Why is this happening?

According to the Resources Sector Workforce Report (RSWR), the reasons for the current and projected shortage can be boiled down to:

  • Competition from eastern states
  • Internal competition between Western Australian projects
  • Demand for shutdown resources
  • The conclusion of final investment decisions, and subsequently, new projects beginning construction 
  • Lack of immigration

In fact, The (RSWR) has projected that the resources sector’s skills shortage could reach 33,000 people by 2023. 

What does the shortage mean for civil construction and maintenance companies?

The current skilled labour shortage will worsen. Recent results from the CCF WA Western Australian Civil Construction Workforce Availability Survey revealed that out of the businesses surveyed;

  • 63% said their ability to deliver existing contracts is moderate to severely constrained. 
  • 61 %said their ability to tender for more work is being moderate to severely constrained.
  • 88% reported they had job vacancies (advertised for two weeks or more) they can’t fill.

What’s the Government doing about it? 

Long term, the government is considering additional government training incentives. The hope is that a strong take-up of civil construction traineeships in WA will help create a new generation of skilled workers. 
Short to medium term, the government aims to prioritise engineer visas to Australia to increase skilled migration and fill critical skills. 

What can you do to keep your business competitive?

When workers are in short demand, it’s important to use limited resources to the best of your abilities. Resource scheduling software can give you visibility into asset utilisation by highlighting where assets are sitting idle. With stretch resources, managers need to optimise their time and not get bogged down in administrative tasks. Often key employees are wasting time chasing up paperwork from the field and manually entering data for payroll. With resource scheduling software you can allocate your worker’s time efficiently, freeing you up for more business development and tender work.

While labour shortages reflect healthy activity across the sectors of civil construction, it is adding significant pressure on the operations of contractors. When resources are in high demand, it’s important to stay on top of your game and adopt new technologies that promote productivity, safety and quality work.

Assignar as your resource scheduling software

Assignar is a cloud-based construction operations software built to help self-perform contractors and subcontractors improve productivity, profitability, safety, and quality in the field and office. Assignar’s platform upgrades key components of operations: labour and equipment management, scheduling, field data, timesheets and more. Find out more about Assignar for your resource scheduling by requesting a demo here.

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