Filling skills gap the focus
BUNDABERG tradesmen were told of the importance of skilling up a new generation of construction workers at a Construction Skills Queensland workshop on Thursday.
A group of 40 tradesmen and construction professionals attended a special breakfast presentation at the Old Bundaberg Tavern, hosted by the state construction industry body.
Guests were told of the widening skills gap in the construction industry and the economic problems it posed for future growth in the mining industries.
Construction Skills Queensland CEO Brett Schimming said Bundaberg tradesmen and construction workers were well placed to take advantage of growth in the coal and coal-seam gas sectors.
"There is a need in Bundaberg, like all regions, for more qualified construction industry workers and that need is going to increase in the near future," he said.
Mr Schimming said the construction workforce had to be boosted to accommodate a predicted $100 billion worth of coal and gas projects planned between now and 2016.
He said the construction industry had a workforce with an average age of 45.
"The future of this industry is young people," he said.
The presentation aimed to make trades professionals aware of programs available to upskill their employees and source quality apprentices to meet growth in the businesses.
Mr Schimming said new initiatives launched to diversify the skill base of construction workers and improve pathways between school education had been well received by guests at the workshop.
"The industry was very supportive of the type of programs and their availability and we hope they will be taken advantage of," he said.