Fast-tracked infrastructure projects and a looming boom in home renovations have kept construction workers inundated with work.
Fast-tracked infrastructure projects and a looming boom in home renovations have kept construction workers inundated with work.

Looking for a career that’s as safe as houses?

The booming construction industry has not only survived COVID-19, but thrived under the lockdown restrictions, with companies saying they are busier than ever.

Commercial and civil constructions workers have been working around the clock to meet growing demand thanks to fast-tracked infrastructure projects, while residential builders are preparing to benefit from a boom in home renovations.

TAFE NSW construction skills head Christine Pracy said construction was a popular career option for young jobseekers, given the stability it provided during the pandemic.

Plumber Colin Young and his apprentice Rebecca Harrison on a house construction site in Peakhurst. Picture: Rohan Kelly
Plumber Colin Young and his apprentice Rebecca Harrison on a house construction site in Peakhurst. Picture: Rohan Kelly

"We reached out to our industry network in April to get an understanding of the COVID impact. And what came through very clearly is that it depended on which part of the sector you were working in," she said.

"One of the great things about construction workers is that they can say they worked right through the COVID lockdown. The industry didn't skip a beat so there are certainly opportunities there."

 

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Ms Pracy said civil construction had continued to grow through the pandemic, and residential construction was now expected to get a boost with the government's HomeBuilder grants.

"People who had just been made unemployed are unlikely to be building a new dwelling so it may impact the small (residential construction) businesses," she said.

"But right across the sector, there has been a huge amount of work. The government's HomeBuilder grant will also kickstart the residential sector.

"We've got enrolments ready to go as soon as new apprentices are ready to commence."

TAFE NSW says the construction boom will benefit young people looking at a building career.
TAFE NSW says the construction boom will benefit young people looking at a building career.

CJ Young Plumbing and Construction owner Colin Young said his business saw a major spike in the past few months.

"We've been busier than ever, purely because more people are home and it's given them the time to think about what they want," Mr Young said.

"If you can finish your trade, this industry is excellent. We actually have unlimited work. You could work every day of the week if you wanted."

Mr Young said the increase in demand has allowed him to work on expanding his business and he is looking into hiring another apprentice.

Third year apprentice Rebecca Harrison has just one more week left of her TAFE NSW course and said she was happy to be in an industry that allowed her to stay working.

"I had really good peace of mind. A lot of people I know have lost their job. It's a really difficult time," she said.

"We've gotten even busier. People who didn't loose their jobs are now thinking of spending some money around the house."

Originally published as Looking for a career that's as safe as houses?


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