Effective techniques for reducing the effects of skilled labour shortages in the Australian construction sector

McLaughlin, Ayrton (2022) Effective techniques for reducing the effects of skilled labour shortages in the Australian construction sector. [USQ Project]

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Australia’s lack of skilled labour is a prevalent issue in the construction sector. Consequences of skilled labour shortages are substantial for the Australian construction sector. Due to a lack of experienced workers in the field, Australian construction companies are struggling to deliver projects on time, or they may even be compelled to refuse contracts. Construction companies' profitability and longevity may suffer as a result. In addition, a shortage of skilled local employees may necessitate that companies acquire foreign labour to cover labour gaps. This may worsen the issue of a shortage of qualified workers in Australia's construction industry, since fewer positions may be available, hence deterring persons from entering the field in preference of a more profitable one. Now more than ever, skilled labourers are needed due to Australia's population's expected exponential expansion and the ensuing rise in demand for infrastructure, commercial, and residential development. Both the execution of programmes to assist in retaining current skilled labourers and the taking of actions to make the construction business more alluring to potential skilled labourers are crucial. Based on the literature reviewed, there needs to more published research on the techniques that may be implemented by construction firms in reducing the effects of the skilled labour shortage.

Australia recognises the evolving issues skilled labour shortages is causing on the industry. An Employment White Paper will be developed after the Federal Government's Jobs and Skills Summit in late 2022 at Parliament House. To solve common economic concerns, the Summit brought together important players such as unions, employers, communities, and governments. Literature reviewed identify several recommendations and modifications required by industry professionals. As no one solution is available, a multiphase research methodology was undertaken.

Four high-ranking construction personnel were interviewed to explore their perspective on skilled labour shortage. Findings from the interviews supported the literature reviewed and led to the development of a 25- questionaire. 20 high-ranking construction personnel participated in the survey. Data from the survey was then analysed to determine the most effective techniques used in the industry for reducing the effects of skilled labour shortage.

Both qualitative and quantitative results indicate not one technique will solve the skill shortage. Based on an analysis of the data attained, arithmetic means, standard deviations and p-values were calculated. This determined the most effective techniques thought by high-ranking construction personnel and allowed for an analysis to be undertaken. These strategies outlined below should be at the forefront in reducing the effects of the SLS within the ACI: 1. Adaption of digitisation within Australian construction companies should be at the forefront of developing its current and future workforce in keeping up with other sectors. This requires investment in training and systems to develop capabilities in this fast-paced sector. 2. Australian construction companies need to implement more initiatives in addressing mental and physical health of their workforce. This includes consisted monitoring and employing strategies in reducing mental health stressors on its staff. 3. Australian construction companies need to develop in-house training and development programs to improve future and current employee career development and job satisfaction.

As all companies interact with different projects, have various structures, unique goals and been established at different periods of time. The three techniques mentioned are broad enough that any company can use them as a guide. Their company systems and procedures can adapt or adopt the techniques identified in this research projects in reducing skilled labour shortage as no one technique is the answer to this ongoing issue in Australia.

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Item Type: USQ Project
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current – Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Engineering (1 Jan 2022 -)
Supervisors: Olatunji, Oluwole; Elks, Gary
Qualification: Bachelor of Construction (Honours) (Construction Management)
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2023 01:30
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2023 01:04
Uncontrolled Keywords: skilled labour shortage; Australia; construction sector
URI: https://sear.unisq.edu.au/id/eprint/51863

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