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Aptitude is key in soaring construction jobs market: Adzuna CEO

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According to a recent report released by Adzuna, an Australian search engine for job advertisements used by over two million visitors per month, the construction jobs market is experiencing a boom.

In the Adzuna Australia Job Market Report, released in September, competition for jobs overall is at its lowest point for 2017. In the construction industry, average salaries over the previous twelve-month period went up by an average of 8.20 per cent, the highest of any sector. Combined with a burgeoning public infrastructure program across the country, with high-rise residential construction showing no signs of slowing down, it seems like the optimal time for those looking for work in the construction industry.

Jobsite spoke with Raife Watson, CEO of Adzuna, to unpack the reasons behind this spike, and how Australians looking for new employment can ride the wave of the construction boom.

Jobs are Ripe for the Picking

On Adzuna, an aggregated site pulling job advertisements from thousands of different sources, the construction industry is its third biggest advertiser, and the third highest-paying category (following healthcare and IT).

According to Watson, there is a huge amount of opportunity, even for those who have previously never considered employment in construction.

“For people looking to enter the construction industry, demonstrating aptitude and leveraging your existing skills is the way to find a job. Employers are very keen to find people not just in the industry, but those who have the right existing skill sets,” he says.

"Employers are very keen to find people not just in the industry, but those who have the right existing skill sets,” he says. 

“They’re willing to train you up. Simply approaching these employers and demonstrating a keenness to be in the industry is a great way to start. The sheer number of jobs available means companies are willing to take on greener people.”

In addition to those who may not have qualifications, the active jobs market in construction opens new opportunities for older workers too.

“The good thing for older workers is that they have background knowledge, and have aptitude, but technology is changing the way these jobs are done. Older workers looking to retrain and upskill should definitely consider construction,” notes Watson.

Other construction jobs trends Watson mentions:

  • Infrastructure is now taking over residential as the type of jobsite with the biggest job availability
  • Public initiatives such as the Snowy Hydro 2.0, Sydney Metro, and the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018 are part of the drive towards infrastructure job availability
  • New South Wales has the largest amount of jobs advertised in construction – double the next nearest state, Victoria
  • There are currently around 12,000 construction jobs available on Adzuna

Employers Urged to Look Outside the Box

Watson encourages employers looking for people in the construction industry to look beyond those actively looking for work, and focus on the passive jobseeker as well.

“80 per cent of people are passive jobseekers." 

“80 per cent of people are passive jobseekers. As an employer, you have to think of ways to spread your job advertisements across a variety of platforms. Since Adzuna leverages the Fairfax network, jobs with higher salaries are floating around in news articles people are reading on sports and entertainment, drawing them in.

“Companies can’t find new people so they are looking to people that already have jobs. With Adzuna, employers can get to the candidate first and fastest, looking towards passive jobseekers in a scarce market,” says Watson.

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