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There is a significant labour shortage across the industry. Image – Canva.
  • A Western Australian Skills Summit was held recently
  • Strategies were announced to address labour shortages
  • MBA WA Executive Director said attracting and maintaining skilled labour from outside of WA is crucial

The Master Builders Association (MBA) Western Australia has welcomed the Western Australian government’s plan to address the state’s critical skilled labour shortage.

Strategies were proposed at the recent Western Australians Skills Summit, which was attended by MBA WA Executive Director, John Gelavis.

Mr Gelavis said the labour shortage faced by the construction industry – which employs about 130,000 people through close to 40,000 businesses – is critical given it has been a key economic driver for WA.

“The need to have a solid plan for attracting and retaining skilled workers in WA is essential as part of the road map for sustained economic recovery,” Mr Gelavis said.

“Master Builders has identified several key priorities that have now formed part of the collective strategic mapping to bolster confidence within the sector and ensure residential and commercial projects can continue to be delivered with minimum disruption.”

John Gelavis, Master Builders WA Executive Director

Mr Gelavis has welcomed the Adult Apprentice Employer Incentive given the industry has the highest number of apprentices compared to other sectors.

He also suggested a targeted campaign to attract skilled workers from interstate and New Zealand, to bolster the labour supply.

Additionally, a focus outside of Perth is required to seek solutions to problems regional areas are currently experiencing.

Going forward, Mr Gelavis added that MBA WA will continue to engage with the WA government on current incentives to ensure workers remain in the sector.

“COVID has changed the way we work and live and our industry needs to adapt to the unprecedented challenges it has thrown up,” Mr Gelavis said.

“Western Australia also needs to adapt to the constant challenges of other jurisdictional responses to the pandemic, and the particular problems this has seen in having skilled labour to meet the current demand brought on largely by the State and Federal home builder stimulus packages.”

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