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General Construction and Demolition

Overview

This page provides information and data on the General Construction and Demolition sector, which is one component of the Construction industry.

The General Construction and Demolition sector includes:

  • Residential Building and Non-residential Building Construction
  • Land Development and Site Preparation.

It also covers renovations, additions or alterations to existing buildings and accompanying site preparation or development.

In residential construction, the four largest home building companies contribute to less than 10% of annual industry revenue and in apartment and townhouse construction, the four largest companies are expected to account for only 21.6% of industry revenue in 2017–18. Businesses are location based and service local and regional populations.

The Non-residential industry sub-sector is characterised by small-scale businesses, though it also contains some of the country's largest building firms, with the four largest companies in commercial building generating less than 20% industry revenue.

Residential and Non-residential Construction operate in a highly regulated environment, which includes licensing and registration requirements for workers, state and local government building standards, approvals and zoning regulations, pollution controls and workplace health and safety standards.

The Land Development and Site Preparation sub-sector is characterised by small- and medium-sized businesses, operating in local and regional markets. Many of the businesses working in land development and subdivision are small-scale residential property developers, though there are several large companies.

Land Development and Site Preparation is also highly regulated with mandatory licensing and permits for equipment operators and demolition work, as well as land use zoning, treatment of waste, permitted construction materials, population density requirements and minimum property elevation. Both state and local governments oversee licensing and regulation, which creates a high degree of variation between localities in planning regulations and restrictions.

Nationally recognised training for General Construction and Demolition is delivered under the CPC – Construction, Plumbing and Services Training Package.

Information sourced from the Construction, Plumbing and Services IRC’s 2019 Skills Forecast.

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

IRC and Skills Forecasts

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

Employment in Building Construction has risen overall between 2000 and 2019, with a particularly strong rise between 2012 and 2018 but slightly decreasing between 2018 and 2019. Employment is projected to continue to increase from around 314,700 in 2019 to approximately 353,400 by 2024.

The most common VET-related occupations in this sector are Construction Managers and Carpenters and Joiners, with employment projected to increase in these occupations by around 9% and 12% respectively. Employment in all other VET-related occupations in this sector is also projected to increase between 2019 and 2024, with Architectural, Building and Surveying Technicians predicted to increase by nearly 20%.

Training trends

Training snapshot

Note the qualifications attributed to this sector may also be relevant to other Construction sectors due to their general data. Similarly, workers with qualifications from other Construction sectors may be employed in the General Construction and Demolition sector.

Program enrolments in General Construction and Demolition-related qualifications have declined between 2015 and 2018, with around 79,230 enrolments in 2018. Program completions experienced a similar decline between 2015 and 2017 but have increased slightly to 21,590 completions in 2018.

In 2018, 58% of enrolments were in the Certificate I or II in Construction or Construction Pathways qualification, for which the intended occupation was Earthmoving Labourer (62%) or Builder’s Labourer (38%). A further 25% of enrolments were in the Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Various), with the majority (97%) training towards the intended occupation of Building Associate. Higher-level qualifications in this sector have intended occupations of Project Builder or Construction Project Manager.

During 2018, private training providers delivered 52% of training in General Construction and Demolition-related qualifications, with a further 28% delivered by TAFE institutes and 16% by schools. The majority of subjects in this sector were Commonwealth and state funded (68%), with 29% of enrolments funded by domestic fee for service. The largest proportion of enrolments in General Construction and Demolition-related qualifications in 2018 was by students residing in New South Wales (40%), followed by Queensland (24%) and Victoria (17%).

More than two fifths of training was delivered in New South Wales (43%), followed by Queensland (25%) and Victoria (18%).

Apprentice and trainee commencements and completions in this sector increased overall between 2010 and 2018. Following a sharp fall between 2013 and 2014, commencements and completions peaked in 2017 before declining again to approximately 1,310 commencements and 840 completions in 2018. The most common intended occupations in this sector for apprentices or trainees are Earthmoving Labourer, Builder’s Labourer or Building Associate. Queensland reported 47% of apprenticeship training, with 37% in New South Wales, and 8% in Western Australia.

For more data specific to your occupation, industry or training package, visit NCVER’s VET students by industry. If you are prompted to log in, select cancel and you will continue to be directed to the program.

For more data specific to your region visit NCVER’s Atlas of total VET.

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

Industry Insights

Industry insights on skills needs

The Construction, Plumbing and Services IRC's 2019 Skills Forecast identified the top five priority generic skills required for the General Construction and Demolition sector as:

  • Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN)
  • Learning agility / Information literacy / Intellectual autonomy and self management
  • Design mindset / Thinking critically / System thinking / Solving problems
  • Communication / Virtual collaboration / Social intelligence
  • Technology.

According to the job vacancy data, the top requested skills by employers were communication, detailed-oriented and planning skills. The most advertised General Construction and Demolition occupations were Building Associate followed by Contract Administrator.

The Construction, Plumbing and Services IRC's 2019 Skills Forecast also notes shortages in the occupations of Bricklayer and Stonemason and Roof Tiler.

The Skills Forecast reports key drivers for change in the industry include Building Information Modelling (BIM), off-site construction and prefabrication, automation, robotics and environmental sustainability, potentially requiring the development of new components to meet future skills.

The above Skills Forecast and Digital Foundations: How Technology is Transforming Australia's Construction Sector identify technological change in this sector is an increasingly important factor, with innovations in the fields of automation, construction products and management software. Building Information Modelling (BIM), the digital version of a building which includes all information on the building through its whole lifecycle – from design, to build, to operations and even demolition, is projected to completely replace current computer-aided design (CAD) systems. This is helped by smartphone and tablet technologies, which allow project workers and stakeholders to quickly access building information from BIM virtually everywhere.

While governments in Australia have been slow to mandate BIM for public works in comparison to some other countries, tier one companies are already well advanced in this area and are starting to require sub-contractors to be able to connect with this technology. The 2019 State of the Industry report by the Tasmanian Building and Construction Industry Training Board states the Board is collaborating with the Department of Health and University of Newcastle on a research project to explore BIM adoption and associated capability development using the Kingston Health Centre as a research site, and has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Macquarie Point Development Corporation to investigate the feasibility of the project being deemed a BIM project.

Links and resources

Data sources and notes

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

  • by ANZSIC 2 digit 30 Building Construction industry, employment projections to May 2023
  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2023
    • 3121 Architectural, Building and Surveying Technicians
    • 3311 Bricklayers and Stonemasons
    • 8211 Building and Plumbing Labourers
    • 3312 Carpenters and Joiners
    • 1331 Construction Managers
    • 3332 Plasterers.

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 http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/6291.0.55.003May%202018?OpenDocument

  • Employed total by ANZSIC 2 digit 30 Building Construction 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 2 digit 30 Building Construction 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 packages or qualifications:

  • CPC Construction, Plumbing and Services, BCF Off-Site Construction, BCG General Construction and BCP Plumbing and Services Training Packages
  • Certificate I or II in Construction or Construction Pathways
    • BCG10103 - Certificate I in General Construction
    • BCG20103 - Certificate II in General Construction
    • BCG20198 - Certificate II in General Construction
    • CPC10108 - Certificate I in Construction
    • CPC10111 - Certificate I in Construction
    • CPC20108 - Certificate II in Construction
    • CPC20111 - Certificate II in Construction
    • CPC20112 - Certificate II in Construction
    • CPC20208 - Certificate II in Construction Pathways
    • CPC20211 - Certificate II in Construction Pathways
  • Certificate III or IV in Demolition
    • BCG31098 - Certificate III in General Construction (Demolition)
    • CPC30411 - Certificate III in Demolition
    • CPC30413 - Certificate III in Demolition
    • CPC41013 - Certificate IV in Demolition
  • Cetificate IV in Building and Construction (Various)
    • BCG30698 - Certificate III in General Construction (Bricklaying/Blocklaying)
    • BCG30998 - Certificate III in General Construction (Materials Handling)
    • BCG31398 - Certificate III in General Construction
    • BCG40106 - Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building)
    • BCG40206 - Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Contract Administration)
    • BCG40306 - Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Estimating)
    • BCG40506 - Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Site Management)
    • CPC40108 - Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building)
    • CPC40110 - Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Building)
    • CPC40208 - Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Contract Administration)
    • CPC40308 - Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Estimating)
    • CPC40408 - Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Sales)
    • CPC40508 - Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Site Management)
    • CPC40611 - Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Specialist Trades)
    • CPC40708 - Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Trade Contracting)
  • Diploma of Building and Construction (Building or Management)
    • BCG50206 - Diploma of Building and Construction (Building)
    • BCG50306 - Diploma of Building and Construction (Management)
    • CPC50208 - Diploma of Building and Construction (Building)
    • CPC50210 - Diploma of Building and Construction (Building)
    • CPC50308 - Diploma of Building and Construction (Management)
  • Advanced Diploma of Building and Construction (Management)
    • CPC60208 - Advanced Diploma of Building and Construction (Management)
    • CPC60212 - Advanced Diploma of Building and Construction (Management).

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

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

  • 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 program enrolments
  • 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 subject enrolments
  • 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 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 five) 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 2018 commencements
  • 2010 to 2018 completions
  • 2018 apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2018 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.

Priority skills data have been extracted from the Construction, Plumbing and Services IRC's 2019 Skills Forecast.

Job vacancy data have been extracted from Burning Glass Technologies 2019, Labour Insight Real-time Labour Market Information Tool, Burning Glass Technologies, Boston, viewed July 2019, https://www.burning-glass.com.

Data shown represent most requested generic skills and occupations according to internet job postings in Australia between July 2016 and June 2019 filtered by ANZSIC and ANZSCO classification levels listed below.

  • Generic skills / Occupations
    • All major ANZSCO groups excluding Sales Workers
    • 30 Building Construction.
Updated: 31 Mar 2020
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