The Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA WA) is calling for a Construction Workforce Attraction Strategy in WA due to critical construction and development skills shortages that are restricting the industry’s capacity to meet housing demand.

“The development industry’s capacity to meet current and future housing demand is being restricted due to access to relevant skilled labour,” UDIA WA CEO Tanya Steinbeck said. “That is going to start having an even greater impact on housing supply and affordability.”

At a UDIA WA event this morning, the critical skills shortages that are impacting on WA, and in particular the development industry, were highlighted by Dr Abul Rizvi in a presentation that provided clear evidence of the need to attract more people to WA from overseas.

Dr Rizvi is an expert in Australian immigration, having previously worked as the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Immigration and having first hand involvement in the development of immigration policy.

Dr Rizvi’s presentation clearly outlined how WA’s share of total migration had declined in the last decade and skilled entrants to WA with construction skills in particular has taken a nose dive.

“In our recent State Budget submission, UDIA WA called on government for a Construction Workforce Attraction Strategy for Perth and the regions, and the negotiation of a Skills and Labour Agreement for the construction industry,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“We clearly need a much more targeted approach to attracting the right skills to WA and we need to make the process easier for those people to be able to come here to live and work,” Ms Steinbeck said.

While short term action is needed, it is important to also focus on longer term policy and system changes.

“Discussion at our event this morning highlighted that long term change, hopefully stemming from the current Federal review of migration policy, is needed,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“However, we know all too well how long it takes to make changes to government systems.  We need solutions for the short term, and one of those solutions is a Skills and Labour Agreement for the construction industry,” Ms Steinbeck said.

“UDIA WA is very keen to work with other industry bodies and the State Government to negotiate a labour agreement for high quality WA construction industry employees.”

Read UDIA WA’s full State Budget submission here.


 More information:

UDIA WA Executive Manager Communications & Engagement


M: 0421 506 819