Richest Queensland tradies? Not in Rockhampton...
RICHEST tradies in Queensland? You've got to be joking.
That was the response Platinum Electricians Rockhampton managing director Jeff Hoare had when the results of the ServiceSeeking.com.au 2016 Tradie Rich List were revealed yesterday.
The report is based on 52,000 quotes submitted through the website in Q3, FY16 versus the year prior.
According to ServiceSeeking, electricians, are on average, the highest-paid tradies in the state raking in $75.23 per hour, but Mr Hoare disagreed.
"Electricians are not on $75 per hour at all, far from it," Mr Hoare said.
"I know our hourly rate here is $100 per/hour inclusive of GST, our guys get paid $35 p/h because we are competing directly against the mines for skilled workers and we find it very, very difficult to hold skilled workers as a result," Mr Hoare said.
"When you crunch the numbers on it, by the time you include RDOs and all that sort of stuff, for the $35 we pay the guys it costs nearly $80 an hour.
"Workplace Health and Safety is ridiculous. The amount of rubbish you have to go through to do one job. It's all important but the paperwork compared to the actual stuff you need to do for safety is ridiculous.
"We hold a different set of regulations for safety that costs around nearly $4000 a year and all the paperwork that goes along with it is massive.
"At the moment we are employing 12 people and there is not a lot left at the end of the day at $100 an hour."
Mr Hoare said staying afloat in the electrical industry in the economic climate of 2016 was extremely tough.
Apart from the mining downturn, he said a lack of positivity and direction from all tiers of government had greatly affected business confidence.
"It's probably some of the worst financial situations I have seen in Central Queensland in quite a long time," he said.
"The last three years of being in the electrical business, it's as tough as it's ever been.
"There's not that much work around, people aren't spending money; the work that we are getting is generally from break-downs and emergency stuff.
"It's not from people renovating or that sort of stuff, even new builds is super quiet.
"The effect of the mines, lay-offs and people going from having full-time contracts to having a three-monthly contract is devastating.
"Last year we had a lot of work from the cyclone which helped bolster things for about three months but this year the turnover is less.
"In both businesses; both the solar as well as the electrical business."
Mr Hoare, who also owns Eco Smart Solar, said the solar business was his saving grace.
"The electrical business has sort of broken even the last couple of years, it hasn't made any money, it has paid its own way, just," he said.
"My electrical business doesn't bring in any money for me; the money that I pay myself comes out of my solar business.
"The solar business, we've gone to about a third of what turnover was three years ago.
"Things are still okay. We're not setting any records but we're at least putting food on the table."
Regardless, the experienced businessman said he was always on the lookout for quality staff.
"At the moment we have four tradesmen, three apprentices, some TAs (trade assistants) and the TAs are currently on three-month contracts and then we have two office staff as well, so it adds up.
"We're always on the lookout for decent quality apprentices, young blokes these days aren't what they used to be."
Tradie Rich List 2016
1. QLD Electricians earn $75.23 per hour
2. QLD Landscapers make $70.57 per hour
3. QLD Plumbers make $68.58 per hour