Upskilling to build a career during construction boom

The Australian Government’s Labour Market Information portal predicts the building and construction industry will  see an 8.5 percent increase in employment opportunities over the next five years; making it a secure career choice for  young people starting out in the industry. 

A series of massive infrastructure projects in South East Queensland including Cross River Rail, Inland Rail and the  Queens Wharf development are also expected to further boost the demand for construction workers, opening up a  vast array of opportunities for both new and existing workers in the Greater Brisbane area.  

TAFE Queensland building and construction student Prab Bhalla, 19, is just one of many young career starters looking  to take advantage of the career opportunities emerging in the growing construction sector.  

Prab said that since completing his Diploma of Building and Construction (Building) in 2020, he’s already found a job in  the industry working at inSite Construction Serivces and plans to keep building his career.  

“To further enhance my skills, this year I decided to also undertake a CSQ funded Advanced Diploma of Building and  Construction (Management) at TAFE Queensland which will allow me to apply for a Builder Project Management  Services license and become a qualified project manager or job site supervisor for high-rise construction work in the  future,” he said. 

Prab said that his TAFE Queensland studies have definitely helped him to get his start in the industry and he’s excited  to see what opportunities lay ahead. 

“Having relevant qualifications definitely does help you to get your foot in the door of the construction industry. I  started in an administrative role just wanting to get into the industry and have since been able to move my way up into a contracts administrator role,” Prab said.  

“It’s overwhelming how busy the construction industry is, particularly after COVID-19. It’s a great field to be in though,  and I’m really enjoying the work so far. It’s what I really to do,” he said.  

Before commencing his studies at TAFE Queensland’s Eagle Farm campus, Prab explored career avenues in both  health care and engineering before deciding that construction was his true calling. In just two years at TAFE  Queensland, he has now completed a Diploma in Building and Construction (Building) and a Diploma in Building and  Construction (Management).  

To add more skills to his toolbelt, once Prab has completed his Advanced Diploma at TAFE Queensland he plans to  continue his studies at university and will apply to study Construction Management. The two-year associate degree  will likely be fast-tracked to just one year when his nationally recognised TAFE qualifications are credited towards the  degree. 

“With two diplomas, an advanced diploma, and an associate degree I think I will be well qualified to move upwards  within my company or elsewhere in the future,” said Prab. 

Being eager to kick-start his trade career whilst still studying, Prab initially sought guidance from his TAFE Queensland  teachers who all have a varied range of building and construction backgrounds. 

“When I was completing my first diploma I asked my teachers for advice about what types of jobs I could apply for  because I was so keen to get into the industry and get started on my construction career,” Prab said. 

“They provided me with some great career guidance as well as a list of companies that I could potentially send my  resume to,” he said. 

Not only is Prab looking forward to building his career in the booming construction industry he is also looking forward  to putting his building and construction skills to use as he helps his family build a new home. 

“My family and I have recently bought a house and we plan on knocking it down and building a new one,” Prab said.  

“Obviously being in the construction industry I feel that I understand the process a lot better now. So that’s the plan  for some time next year,” he said.  

For more information about apprenticeships and trade training, visit tafeqld.edu.au or call 1300 308 233 today and  see where TAFE can take you. 

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