In response to the 2022 Population Statement, Master Builders Australia calls on the government to address the significant challenges in local labour market demand over the short and long term to ensure a more productive and successful future for the country.
Acting CEO Shaun Schmitke said the building and construction industry is particularly impacted by the population challenges outlined in the statement. A lack of available labour and skilled workers can significantly hinder the ability of the industry to meet the growing demand for housing and infrastructure.
“With an ageing population, the dependency ratio will reach a high level in the absence of migration, and the economy’s capacity to support its non-working population will be tested.
“The failure to exceed certain levels of demand can lead to a lack of financial viability for projects across the country, including hospitals, schools, housing developments, railways, roads, telecommunications infrastructure, and new shops and offices,” said Mr Schmitke.
In a recent submission to the Government’s review on migration, Master Builders made several recommendations including lifting the migration cap to 200,000 places in 2023-24 and 2045, reducing the proliferation of occupation lists, improve recognition of comparable international qualifications and pathways, and review English language requirements to ensure they align with occupational needs.
“By increasing the migration cap and improving pathways for overseas talent to enter the country, we can help ensure that there is a sufficient workforce to meet the needs of the industry,” said Mr Schmitke.
“More needs to be done to upskill the existing workforce, increase female participation in the industry and make workplaces more productive.
“It is clear that addressing population challenges and making our workforce more productive are two sides of the same coin.
“By making it easier for businesses to operate and reducing red tape it allows them to better respond to changing demographics and market conditions,” said Mr Schmitke.