Civil Construction Workforce Trends – Research Survey HOME > Civil Construction Workforce Trends – Research Survey

This July, CCF QLD conducted the Civil Construction Workforce Trends – Research Survey. The survey was circulated to our recruitment member organisations with a strong connection to the civil construction industry. Outlined within the survey are questions focusing on industry trends, potential skills gaps and training policies.

We would like to thank our members from the Recruitment sector for their participation in the survey including:

  • AWX Pty Ltd
  • Intro Recruitment Solutions
  • Hays Specialist Recruitment (Australia) Pty Ltd
  • Protech Group Pty Ltd
  • RPR Trades Pty Ltd
  • Stellar Recruitment Pty Ltd
  • Zancott Recruitment (QLD) Pty Ltd

Q1 Have you identified shifting trends regarding demand for civil engineers?

Yes: 71.43%
No: 14:29%
NA: 14.29%

Q2 What percentage of job-seekers have previous experience in the construction industry?

0-20%                    –              0.00%
20-40%                 –              28.57%
40-60%                 –              28.57%
60-80%                 –              14.29%
80-100%               –              28.57%

Q3 Is construction industry experience a necessity for those seeking employees through your organisation?

Yes:        85.71%
No:         14.29%
N/A:      0.00%

Q4 What WHS training do prospective job-seekers receive prior to working on project sites?

White Card Site Specific                –              100.00%
Induction                                             –              85.71%
NA                                                          –              0.00%

A respondent additionally identified ‘industry specific tickets/licenses.’

Q5 What qualifications or Tickets do job seekers have necessary for roles on civil construction project sites?

Operator Tickets                                              –              100.00%
Verification of Competency                        –              57.14%
Certificate Qualifications                               –              71.43%
Diploma Qualifications                                   –              42.86%
Traineeship                                                        –              28.57%
Apprenticeship                                                  –              42.86%
NA                                                                          –              0.00%

Q6 Outline the recruitment process to prepare civil construction job seekers for site?

Respondents noted:

  • It is necessary to ensure thorough knowledge of both the client and role in addition to ensuring transparent expectations on both sides. Identifying and communicating all qualifications.
  • The applicants are required to pass an induction and have relevant civil construction industry experience and qualifications.
  • The applicant undergoes Drug and Alcohol testing, a ‘Physical Ability Test’ which helps to determine that the personnel are fit for job demands, reference checks with relevance to the civil construction industry and a behavioural interview.
  • An in depth process covering skills, experience, job fit, cultural fit, location, tickets and licences and attitude.
  • Through the respondents Comprehensive Strategic recruitment process the candidate undergoes selection and induction. The process includes X-grading pre-employment screening tailored to clients’ needs and candidate specifications.
  • Ensure the candidate has an understanding of position, project, and company is important. In addition, ensure the candidate has a sound knowledge of OHS, that all references verified and that tickets/licenses/qualifications kept on record.

Q7 To what extent, do employers require job seekers with apprenticeships and traineeships?

Low Demand                     –              57.14%
Medium Demand            –              14.29%
High Demand                     –              14.29%
NA                                          –              14.29%

Q8 Do job seekers have access to government grants for training development to work in the civil construction sector?

The majority of respondent noted ‘yes.’ However, others responded that they ‘sometimes’ had access and that they refer candidates to training organisation and third parties which did have access.

Q9 Are there specific traineeships and apprenticeships which are in demand?

Respondent’s feedback included that engineers are in a shortage. Furthermore, diesel fitters, carpenters, operators, bricklayers, plasterers, painters, joiners, pipe layers and Certificate III’s were in demand. In addition, another responded thought there was no demand.

Q10 Can you highlight potential skills shortages for the construction industry in the next 18 months?

The respondents identified the following occupational roles: Plant operators, drivers, regional labour, concreters, form workers, steel fixers, truck drivers, bricklayers, plasterers, painters, joiners, engineers and across all aspects of civil construction including TMR supervisors; quality machine operators (final trim); pipe layers.

Q11 What percentage of job seekers transition from casual job placement to permanent and part-time roles?

0-20%                    –              16.67% 1
20-40%                 –              66.67%
40-60%                 –              0%
60-80%                 –              0%
80-100%               –              16.67%

Q12 Are health and medical tests mandatory for job seekers? And if so, what form do they take?

Functionality Testing                                      –              57.14%
Pre-Employment Medical Certificate      –              57.14%
Drug and Alcohol screening                         –              85.71%
No                                                                          –              0.00%
NA                                                                          –              0.00%

Respondents also clarified that it was dependent on the client. It was particularly the case for mining construction.

Q13 Are job seekers required to undergo blood and alcohol testing?

Testing Prior to Job Placement                                   –              57.14%
Random testing during job placement                    –              28.57%
NA                                                                                          –              14.29%

Two respondents added that depending on the client both testing prior to job placement and random testing could be conducted.

Q14 Do employers have diversity requirements in their hiring processes?

Yes: 57.14%
No: 42.86%
NA: 0.00%

A respondent clarified that some employers do not. However, the larger companies usually do.

Q15 Does your organisation have a diversity initiative for job seekers?

Yes: 71.43%
No: 28.57%
NA: 0.00%

A respondent added that their organisation actively promotes women in the workforce and actively employs from diverse backgrounds both in metro, rural and remote areas.

Q16 What trends have you identified in the hiring of job seekers for civil construction sector roles?

Respondents highlighted the following trends:

  • A geographic preference – a demand for regional roles and a reluctance of candidates to relocate.
  • Candidates pursue the highest paying roles
  • Pay Rates have substantially increased
  • Clients increasingly require candidates with higher skill levels and request for trade qualified candidates.
  • There has been more of a focus on gender and diversity targets.
  • Companies are far more comfortable with the use of temporary and contractual workers.

Q17 Has demand increased for civil construction plant operators?

Increased                                            –              57.14%
Remained the same                       –              42.86%
Decreased                                          –              0.00%
NA                                                          –              0.00%
Other (please specify)                   –              0.00%

Q18 What level of Indigenous job seeker participation in the civil construction sector has your organisation recorded in the last year?

Low                                                        –              42.86%
Intermediate                                     –              42.86%
High                                                       –              14.29%
NA                                                          –              0.00%
Other (please specify)                   –              0.00%

Q19 What level of female job seeker participation in the civil construction sector has your organisation recorded in the last year?

Low                                                        –              66.67%
Intermediate                                     –              0.00%
High                                                       –              33.33%
NA                                                          –              0.00%
Other (please specify)                   –              0.00%

Q20 What are the age demographics of the workforce participating in civil construction industry roles?

18-25     –              28.57%
25-40     –              85.71%
40-55     –              57.14%
55+         –              14.29%
NA          –              0.00%

Q21 Can you identify which Queensland regions have the most hiring activity in the civil construction sector?

Brisbane South                                                                 –              85.71%
Brisbane North                                                                 –              71.43%
Darling Downs South West                                          –              42.86%
Wide Bay Burnett                                                            –              28.57%
Central Queensland                                                        –              42.86%
Mackay, Isaac and Whitsunday                                  –              57.14%
Northern Queensland                                                   –              28.57%
Far North Queensland                                                   –              28.57%


Q22 What strategies do you employ to encourage the uptake and retention of job seekers in the civil construction sector?

Respondents stated:

  • Provide genuine career guidance, information days, traineeships and employee assistance programs.
  • Online advertising is most effective,
  • Provide candidate with Personal Protective Equipment, good pay rates and ensure they are well cared for.
  • The respondent offered ongoing roles.
  • We have candidate care programs to keep employees engaged, work perks for staff benefit and market matching pay rates to ensure competitiveness
  • Ensure employees are kept engaged, upskilled, paid accordingly, incentives, rewards, have company ‘buy in’ and additional bonus share schemes.