A Career in Construction – Why the Time is NOW!
by Daniel Green
Without a doubt, 2019 – 2022 has delivered some of the most challenging circumstances our generation has faced. The global COVID-19 pandemic has altered the face of this nation, the effects of which will be felt for a long time indeed.
From Somewhere Else
Australia is a nation of migrants and the construction industry is a microcosm of that. If you speak to first gen immigrants you’ll soon learn that many entered construction soon after their arrival, regardless of their trade in the homeland. From the Chinese of the gold rush era to the post-war Eastern European phase, the Southern European wave of the late 1950’s to the Lebanese and Turks in the 1960’s. This great nation was built by migrants. Literally.
A Workforce Desert
That all changed on 20th March 2020 when, for the first time in human history our international borders were closed. The influx of manpower dried up in an instant. The impact wasn’t immediately apparent because construction projects slowed due to other COVID based restrictions like lockdowns, quarantining and international trade obstacles.
However. Things are open again, never to close. Weather aside, work is back on track with construction projects steaming ahead to try and gain lost ground. Except the workers to fill those roles won’t be here in any great numbers for a long time. Perhaps years.
So dire is the lack of workers that NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has urged parliament that ‘Australia needs an explosive surge of two million migrants’. We don’t know what percentage of migration applicants are rejected, but to get two million new Australians could mean ten times that would need to apply. Courting and screening tens of millions of applicants is such a significant undertaking that it simply won’t be done anytime soon.
No Time Like The Present
What does this mean for you? It means that employers want you and they want you bad. If you’re experienced, ticketed and hungry you could walk into a construction job interview today with a start tomorrow. This is unprecedented! Never before have workers been so sought after. Even if you’re inexperienced, unticketed but still hungry you are in a far better position than ever before – or will be again. Great companies hire based on attitude first, skills second, tickets third. Now is the best time to switch things up and try your hand in the construction game.
Advantages of a Career in Construction
It’s One of the Most Stable Industries We Have
Construction has deep ties to Australia’s financial growth. It’s subject to downturns like every other industry but because our fiscal health is dependent on getting stuff built the government will always support it. Construction also employs 9% of the Australian workforce, a number so large that downturns affect every other industry, forcing the government to ensure its stability.
Even the most unskilled labourer is paid better than the equivalent in other industries. There is a slight variance in hourly rates so do your research, but overall the pay is far superior. Couple that with longer working hours and overtime rates means a fatter wallet at the end of the week.
The term ‘construction industry’ encompasses construction [building], demolition [dismantling] and remediation [fixing]. Within those industries are a myriad of disciplines that might be attractive to you:
- Machine operator – excavator, dozer, grader, dump truck
- Truck driver – hook trucks, crane trucks, flatbeds, tippers
- Tradesperson – carpenter, plumber, electrician, plasterer, concreter, bricklayer, fabricator, glazier, landscaper, painter, roofer, steel fixer, HVAC, scaffolder, crane operator/rigger/dogman
- Skilled labourers
- General labourers
- Leading hands
The Great Outdoors
We weren’t designed to be locked indoors for 8+ hours a day breathing recirculated air. Working outside is not only good for the mind, it’s also good for the body.
What You Get Is What You See
Unlike other industries, construction gives you a tangible sense of satisfaction at the end of each day/week/project. You’re literally watching your progress as buildings are erected or demolished, roads are built, plants manufactured/dismantled and gardens landscaped.
Borne of the tight knit bond often found between miners and soldiers, the Australian construction industry retains a strong focus on mateship to this day. There’s a sense of teamwork that isn’t often found elsewhere.
There is a culture of growing safety with higher standards every year. This means that businesses, bodies and boards are working hard to ensure you and your colleagues go home safe at the end of the day.
But I Don’t Know Anything About Construction?
If you haven’t worked in construction before, that’s okay. Great construction companies hire based on attitude first, skills second, tickets third. As Henry Ford said ‘Whether you think you can or if you think you can’t – you’re right.’ It’s all about your outlook.
I Heard It’s Dangerous?
Construction has never been safer. For many years builders like Downer have had a zero incident target called Zero Harm. All the tier ones have their own version. Their sway filters down throughout the industry, developing a culture of safety that is unprecedented. Companies like those within the Perfect Group have always fostered a safe working environment.
What Qualifications Do I Need?
Before entering a job site you will need to possess what we call a White Card. The card is the result of attending a one day course designed to introduce you the world of construction. Its official title is the General Safety Induction Course.
Do I Need Special Clothing?
Yes. You will need full protective clothing and equipment. Some items are task specific but everyone wears basic PPE: lace up steel capped boots, long pants, high visibility long sleeved shirt, gloves, safety glasses, ear plugs or muffs and a hard hat.
But I Don’t Know All The Jargon?
That’s okay! Neither did we when we began! You’ll soon pick it up. When you get started try and find someone more experienced who can help you along.
Where Do I Begin?
So you’re ready to find a good construction company but you don’t know where to start. Well. Let us help you with that..
The Perfect Choice
The Perfect Group consists of four divisions servicing the construction industry in New South Wales and beyond:
Perfect Contracting – Unrestricted demolition, civil construction and hazmat removal.
Perfect Labour Hire – specialised labour hire.
Perfect Concrete Care – concrete cutting, coring, scanning, polishing and grinding.
Perfect Remediation and Refurbishment – remedial and refurb works.
Welcome to construction, you’re going to love it!