Construction industry jobs take dive in CQ
CENTRAL Queensland construction workers have their backs against the wall, according to a new report.
Figures released by Construction Skills Queensland (CSQ) show there was a 12.8% drop in the number of people employed in the construction industry in the 12-month period from August 2013 to August this year, when there were 14,000 people employed.
Master Builders Central Queensland Regional Manager Dennis Bryant (pictured) said the decline in employment numbers in the industry, which incorporates Rockhampton and Gladstone regions, did not surprise him.
"I wasn't surprised the employment numbers had dropped since last year," he said.
"There's been a lot of the workers who had come here for the work and are now drifting back to other regions. So that's the movement we've seen in the last couple of months now that the workload is decreasing."
However, Mr Bryant said it wasn't all doom and gloom for the construction industry.
"There's patches of good, steady activity but it's not as busy as previous years because people have lost their confidence which has really knocked the construction industry.
"I really urge people to be confident though because the CQ region has a great future, we have a real asset here, a coastal community with a laid-back lifestyle."
The findings from CSQ show that Yeppoon was one of the top five areas in 2013-2014 for building approvals, with $86.4 million worth of residential properties constructed.
"The coastal strip now has facilities that would have never been heard of years ago," Mr Bryant said.
"There has been a lot of movement to the coast and I think more people are looking to relocate or retire at the beach so we are finding more home owners building down there. There has also been some commercial proposals for the Capricorn Coast that are in the process of being approved and finalised.
"Although we have a lot of high rise and unit construction going on around the riverbank in Rockhampton, residential construction in Yeppoon and Gracemere are still outweighing commercial construction."
As a result of the decline in construction work available in the Rockhampton region, apprenticeship numbers in the industry had also dwindled.
CSQ figures indicated that there were 732 construction apprenticeships and traineeships in the CQ region in 2013. In the same year, there were 456 construction apprenticeship and traineeship cancellations and withdraws.