The Department of Jobs and Small Business released the latest Internet Vacancy Index, highlighting how crucial the $1.5 billion Skilling Australians Fund will be for the building and construction industry and its future workforce needs.

Combined with forecasts showing that building and construction will need more than 120,000 additional workers over the next five years, the 31,000 industry related vacancies advertised in January 2018 highlights why building and construction has been identified as a priority industry.

The Skilling Australians Fund will support up to 300,000 skilled Australians, with a focus on apprenticeships and traineeships.

“The fund is a key element in helping our industry address its future workforce challenges,” Denita Wawn, CEO of Master Builders Australia, said.

“Building and construction provides jobs for more than one million people, more than one in 10 Australians, and trains more than half of the nation’s apprentices.

“That’s more than 50,000 of tomorrow’s tradies getting the skills that they need (and that employers want) today and each and every year.

“While the Internet Vacancy Index increased by 1.2 per cent in January 2018, continuing a 16 month run of increases, the strongest increases were for Machinery Operators and Drivers (up by 2.3 per cent) and Technicians and Trades Workers (1.6 per cent).”

These same categories, over the last twelve months, have increased by almost 15 per cent and 20 per cent respectively.

“These latest figures are yet another reminder that the skill challenges of tomorrow need to be tackled today,” Ms Wawn said.

“The Skilling Australians Fund will be an important element in ensuring builders can continue to grow, create jobs and deliver the things the community needs, including homes for families and vital public infrastructure.”

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