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Building Structure Services


This page provides information and data on the Building Structure Services sector, which is one component of the Construction industry.

The Building Structure Services sector includes those services central to the structural construction of residential and non-residential buildings, including concreting, laying and repairing clay and concrete bricks, blocks and pavers, tiling, slating or shingling roofs, building structural steel components for buildings, bridges, overhead cranes and electricity transmission towers.

The Building Structure Services industry is characterised by small-scale businesses, often with less than 20 employees. There are no major businesses in the industry and few barriers to entering and exiting the industry. This creates high competition amongst operators. The size of many businesses tends to increase and decrease in line with phases in the housing cycle. Many businesses also grow and diversify into providing a broader range of construction services.

The level of regulation and licensing in this sector varies according to the trade involved, with each type of building structure service subject to its own building codes, insurance requirements and operator certifications.

Nationally recognised training for Building Structure Services is delivered under the CPC Construction, Plumbing and Services Training Package.

For information on general construction-related skills see General Construction and Demolition.

Information sourced from the Construction, Plumbing and Services IRC's 2018 Skills Forecast.

All data sources are available at the end of the page.


IRC and Skills Forecasts

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

Employment levels in the Building Structure Services sector rose sharply between 2002 and 2004 and have fluctuated since that time. In 2018, employment was at its-highest in this sector since 2000, at over 102,000 workers. It is projected that employment will grow in the sector between 2018 and 2023, reaching over 113,000 by 2023.

The most common VET-related occupation in this industry is Concreters, which has a projected employment growth between 2018 and 2023 of 11%. The next most common, Bricklayer and Stonemason, has a projected decline in employment levels of 2%.

Training trends

Training snapshot

Program enrolments in Building Structure Services-related qualifications rose between 2014 and 2017, with a high of over 11,800 enrolments in 2015. Program completions experienced a similar high in 2015, but then dropped in 2016 and 2017 to below 2014 levels. During 2017, nearly all enrolments in this sector were at the certificate III level. The most common area of training was Bricklaying or Blocklaying, Paving and Stonemasonry. The most common intended occupation for qualifications in this sector was Bricklayer, followed by Concreter.

For enrolments during 2017, more training in the Building Structure Services sector was delivered by TAFE institutes (56%) than private training providers (41%). Nearly 78% of subjects for Building Structure Services-related qualifications were Commonwealth and state funded in 2017.

Victoria (37%) was the most common location for students studying Building Structure Services-related qualifications. New South Wales and Queensland were the next most common student locations.

Apprentice and trainee commencements declined overall in this sector between 2010 and 2017, with just under 1,900 commencements in 2017. Completions remained relatively stable during the same period, with a high of over 1,000 in 2013. The most common intended occupations for apprentices and trainees in Building Structure Services-related qualifications are Bricklayer, followed by Roof Tiler, Concreter and then Stonemason. The majority of apprentices and trainees in training at December 2017 were reported by New South Wales or Victoria.

For more data specific to your occupation, industry or training package, visit NCVER’s VET students by industry.

For more data specific to your region visit NCVER’s Atlas of total VET. If you are prompted to log in, select cancel and you will continue to be directed to the program.

If you are interested in extracting NCVER data to construct tables with data relevant to you, sign up for a VOCSTATS account.

Industry insights

For an analysis of skills needs and workforce demand, see the Construction cluster page.

The Construction, Plumbing and Services IRC's 2018 Skills Forecast reports skills shortages of Stonemasons with generalist skills and specialist skill-sets have persisted since 2005. Shortages of Roof Tilers have been persistent over the past decade, worsening over the last three years. Employers have also reported finding it hard to attract qualified and experienced Bricklayers in all states and territories except the Northern Territory and Western Australia.

This sector includes trades that require substantial manual labour. The Skills Forecast and the Industry Outlook 2018–19 by Construction Skills Queensland discuss innovative technology advancements that may enable workers from a more diverse demographic to continue in or enter the industry. Examples of technology include concrete pumps, finishing machines and precast concrete panels, and robotic solutions such as the Semi Automated Mason (SAM) and Hadrian X provide accurate and efficient placement of masonry units.

Links and resources

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment, 2018, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal:  

  • by ANZSIC 3 digit 322 Building Structure Services industry, employment projections to May 2023
  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2023
    • 3311 Bricklayers and Stonemasons
    • 8211 Building and Plumbing Labourers
    • 8212 Concreters
    • 1331 Construction Managers
    • 3341 Plumbers
    • 3333 Roof Tilers.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018, Employed persons by Industry group of main job (ANZSIC), Sex, State and Territory, November 1984 onwards, 6291.0.55.003 - EQ06, viewed 1 November 2018 <>

  • Employed total by ANZSIC 3 digit 322 Building Structure Services industry, 2000 to 2018, May Quarter.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017, 2016 Census – employment, income and unpaid work, TableBuilder. Findings based on use of ABS TableBuilder data.

  • Employment level by 3 digit 322 Building Structure Services industry, and 4 digit level occupations to identify the relevant VET-related occupations in the industry as a proportion of the total workforce.

Training data has been extracted from the National VET Provider Collection, Total VET Students and Courses from the following training package or qualifications:

  • CPC Construction, Plumbing and Services, BCF Off-Site Construction, BCG General Construction and BCP Plumbing and Services Training Packages
  • Bricklaying/Blocklaying, Paving and Stonemasonry
    • BCF30600 - Certificate III in Stonemasonry (Monumental/Installation)
    • BCG30103 - Certificate III in Bricklaying/Blocklaying
    • CPC30108 - Certificate III in Bricklaying/Blocklaying
    • CPC30111 - Certificate III in Bricklaying/Blocklaying
    • CPC31611 - Certificate III in Paving
    • CPC32308 - Certificate III in Stonemasonry (Monumental/Installation)
    • CPC32311 - Certificate III in Stonemasonry (Monumental/Installation)
    • CPC32313 - Certificate III in Stonemasonry (Monumental/Installation)
  • Concreting and Steelfixing
    • BCG30303 - Certificate III in Concreting
    • BCG31103 - Certificate III in Steel Fixing
    • BCG31298 - Certificate III in General Construction (Concreting/Steelfixing)
    • CPC20408 - Certificate II in Concreting
    • CPC20411 - Certificate II in Concreting
    • CPC30308 - Certificate III in Concreting
    • CPC30311 - Certificate III in Concreting
    • CPC30313 - Certificate III in Concreting
    • CPC31108 - Certificate III in Steelfixing
    • CPC31111 - Certificate III in Steelfixing
  • Roof Tiling and Metal Roofing/Cladding
    • BCG30803 - Certificate III in Roof Tiling
    • BCG30898 - Certificate III in General Construction (Roof Tiling)
    • BCP20203 - Certificate II in Metal Roofing and Cladding
    • CPC20811 - Certificate II in Metal Roofing and Cladding
    • CPC20812 - Certificate II in Metal Roofing and Cladding
    • CPC30808 - Certificate III in Roof Tiling
    • CPC30811 - Certificate III in Roof Tiling
    • CPC30812 - Certificate III in Roof Tiling.

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

Data covers a range of selected student and training characteristics in the following categories and years:

  • 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 program enrolments
  • 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 program completions.

Total VET students and courses data is reported for the calendar year. Program enrolments are the qualifications, courses and skill-sets in which students are enrolled in a given period. For students enrolled in multiple programs, all programs are counted. Program completion indicates that a student has completed a structured and integrated program of education or training. Location data uses student residence. Subject enrolment is registration of a student at a training delivery location for the purpose of undertaking a module, unit of competency or subject. For more information on the terms and definitions, please refer to the Total VET students and courses: terms and definitions document.

Low counts (less than 5) are not reported to protect client confidentiality.

Percentages are rounded to one decimal place. This can lead to situations where the total sum of proportions in a chart may not add up to exactly 100%.

CPC Construction, Plumbing and Services, BCF Off-Site Construction, BCG General Construction and BCP Plumbing and Services Training Packages apprentice and trainee data has been extracted from the National Apprentice and Trainee Collection, including:

  • 2010 to 2017 commencements
  • 2010 to 2017 completions
  • 2017 apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2017 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.

Priority skills data have been extracted from the Construction, Plumbing and Services IRC's 2018 Skills Forecast.

Updated: 14 Dec 2018
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