HEADS UP: Tradies are beginning to tap into larger infrastructure projects now coming on stream.
HEADS UP: Tradies are beginning to tap into larger infrastructure projects now coming on stream. Think Stock

Construction industry offers robust opportunities

OVER the past decade and a half, the construction industry has delivered changing fortunes for Australia's tradies.

Through the early part of this century, tradies couldn't put a foot wrong. Construction was the industry to work in, with carpenters and plumbers touted as the nation's new rich.

The growth of the mining and resources sector further fuelled the booming fortunes of the construction industry, before the global financial crisis slammed the brakes on the whole deal.

While the construction industry has retreated from the lofty heights of a decade ago, there are still plenty of opportunities in the sector, with major projects under way across the country.

Further, as mining-related construction activity continues to cool, strong gains in residential construction are contributing to an increase in employment opportunities in construction.

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show residential construction rose 2.2% in the June quarter, a further increase on the 7.3% growth recorded in the first quarter of this year.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia economist Gareth Aird said the rise in residential construction followed the pickup in building approvals in the past year.

"The lift in dwelling investment is having the dual benefit of absorbing job losses associated with the downturn in mining investment while adding to the stock of housing," Mr Aird said.

If you're interested in working on a larger scale than four-bed two-bath brick-and-tiles in the suburbs, there's plenty happening at the big end of town, details of which are available from the National Infrastructure Construction Schedule (NICS).

The schedule is the first-ever national government infrastructure project pipeline, providing industry with information on "major" infrastructure projects committed by governments across the country. Major refers to projects valued at more than $25 million.

NICS promotes projects with opportunities for firms to bid on contracts. Over time, these projects, as well as any new projects, move along the project timeline, leading to a rich supply of infrastructure opportunities. www.nics.gov.au