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Building Completion Services

Overview

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

The Building Completion Services sector involves work that ‘finishes’ a building such as plastering, carpentry, tiling, painting and decorating and glazing. Glazing however, is covered in the Furnishing Training Package.

Businesses in this sector tend to be small, with less than 20 employees or operating as individual contractors. Few businesses operate in more than one state or territory and tend to work in local or specialised niche markets.

There is a similar regulatory environment to other building and construction trades across the plastering and ceiling services, carpentry, and glazing trades. Trades are all expected to have formal qualifications obtained through an apprenticeship though this is not a legislated requirement in every state and territory.

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

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

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

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

Overall, the employment level in the Building Completion Services sector rose from 133,700 in 2002 to 207,500 in 2022, although there were some fluctuations due to industry cycles. The employment level in this industry is projected to decline to approximately 155,700 by 2025.

Carpenters and Joiners account for more than a quarter (26%) of the Building Completion Services industry workforce, followed by Painting Trades Workers (22%) and Plasterers (11%). Employment projections to 2026 across this industry are mixed, with growth projected in Construction Managers (10%) and Floor Finishers (4%), but decreases projected for Wall and Floor Tilers (7%) and Plasterers (4%).

Training trends

Training snapshot

Overall, program enrolments in Building Completion Services-related qualifications increased from approximately 44,710 in 2017 to 55,560 in 2021. Over the same time frame, program completions rose from 9,600 to more than 13,920.

All program enrolments in the Building Completion Services-related sector were at the certificate III level in 2021 and more than three-quarters (76%) were in Carpentry and Joinery. The most common intended occupation for the training in this sector was Carpenter (76%).

Approximately half (52%) of training in Building Completion Services-related qualifications was delivered by private training providers in 2021, with TAFE institutes delivering 44%. However, there was considerable variation by qualification cluster; private training providers delivered approximately 70% of Painting, Decorating and Solid Plastering qualifications while TAFE institutes delivered about 60% of Shopfitting and Formwork/Falsework qualifications. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of all Building Completion Services-related subjects were Commonwealth and state funded in 2021. Over half (58%) of subjects delivered by private training providers were funded via through domestic fee for service (39%) and international fee for service (19%).

New South Wales (30%) had the highest proportion of students enrolled in Building Completion-related qualifications, followed by Victoria (26%) and Queensland (21%). Just under a third (32%) of the training was delivered in Victoria, followed by New South Wales (29%) and Queensland (25%).

Overall, apprentice and trainee commencements in Building Completion Services-related qualifications increased from approximately 9,940 in 2012 to 17,760 in 2021. Between 2020 and 2021, commencements increased approximately 33%. Between 2012 and 2021, the number of completions fluctuated, from a peak of about 7,620 in 2014 to a low of approximately 5,800 in 2016. In 2021, about 7,560 completions were recorded.

The most common intended occupation for apprentices and trainees in this sector was Carpenter (82%). More than a third of apprentices in training (34%) were reported in New South Wales, followed by Victoria (28%) and Queensland (21%) in 2021.

For more data specific to your occupation, industry group or training package, visit NCVER’s Data Builder.

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

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

Training development, according to the Construction, Plumbing and Services IRC’s 2020 Skills Forecast, needs to respond and balance the maintenance of existing occupational skill needs and meeting emerging skills gaps. Key skills needs identified in the IRC’s 2020 Skills Forecast relevant to the Building Completion Services industry were the need for heritage skills.

The demand for heritage skills were affected significantly from the introduction of new technologies. According to the IRC, incorporating technology into heritage projects required skill sets in ‘sympathetic’ restoration and technology installation, and jobs in this area will increasingly be required to integrate traditional methods and cutting-edge technology. As such, the 2020 Skills Forecast outlined a project focused on the development of a dedicated national training skill set for heritage trades skill set.

In terms of the sector’s current and future workforce, IRC members noted in the 2020 Skills Forecast that some struggle to attract apprentices and trainees, namely plastering, painting and decorating and glazing employers. The National Skills Commission’s (NSC) 2022 Skills Priority List reported there were shortages in Carpenter and Joiner, Carpenter, Joiner, Floor Finisher, Painting Trades Worker, Glazier, Fibrous Plasterer, Solid Plasterer, Roof Tiler, and Wall and Floor Tiler. Further, the NSC projects there will be moderate future demand for some of these occupations.

Links and resources

Below is a list of industry-relevant research, organisations and associations. Hyperlinks have been included where available.

 

IRC and Skills Forecasts

Construction, Plumbing and Services Industry Reference Committee

 

Relevant research

2022 Skills Priority List – National Skills Commission

 

Industry associations and advisory bodies

Australian Tile Council

Carpentry Australia

Master Builders Australia

Master Painters Australia

 

Employee associations

Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union (AMWU)

Australian Workers' Union (AWU)

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment 2021, Industry Employment Projections viewed 1 August 2021, Labour Market Information Portal

  • by ANZSIC 3-digit 324 Building Completion Services Industry, employment projections to May 2025

National Skills Commission 2022, Occupation Employment Projections viewed 10 August 2022, https://www.nationalskillscommission.gov.au/topics/employment-projections

  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2026
    • 3312 Carpenters and Joiners
    • 1331 Construction Managers
    • 3321 Floor Finishers
    • 3331 Glaziers
    • 3322 Painting Trades Workers
    • 3332 Plasterers
    • 3334 Wall and Floor Tilers.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2022, 6291.0.55.001 - EQ06 - Employed persons by Industry group of main job (ANZSIC), Sex, State and Territory, November 1984 onwards, viewed 1 August 2022. https://www.abs.gov.au/statistics/labour/employment-and-unemployment/labour-force-australia-detailed/may-2022

  • Employed total by ANZSIC 3-digit 324 Building Completion Services Industry, 2002 to 2022, 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 ANZSIC 3-digit 324 Building Completion 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 and BCG General Construction Training Packages.
  • Carpentry and Joinery
    • BCF20100 - Certificate II in Off-site Construction
    • BCF30200 - Certificate III in Off-site Construction (Joinery-Timber/Aluminium/Glass)
    • BCF30300 - Certificate III in Off-site Construction (Stairs)
    • BCF30400 - Certificate III in Off-site Construction (Pre-Fabrication)
    • BCF30500 - Certificate III in Off-site Construction (Machining)
    • BCG30203 - Certificate III in Carpentry
    • CPC30208 - Certificate III in Carpentry
    • CPC30211 - Certificate III in Carpentry
    • CPC30220 - Certificate III in Carpentry
    • CPC31908 - Certificate III in Joinery
    • CPC31911 - Certificate III in Joinery
    • CPC31912 - Certificate III in Joinery
    • CPC31920 - Certificate III in Joinery
    • CPC32008 - Certificate III in Carpentry and Joinery
    • CPC32011 - Certificate III in Carpentry and Joinery
    • CPC32211 - Certificate III in Joinery (Stairs).
  • Painting, Decorating and Solid Plastering
    • BCG30398 - Certificate III in General Construction (Solid Plastering)
    • BCG30498 - Certificate III in General Construction (Painting and Decorating)
    • BCG30603 - Certificate III in Painting and Decorating
    • BCG31003 - Certificate III in Solid Plastering
    • CPC30608 - Certificate III in Painting and Decorating
    • CPC30611 - Certificate III in Painting and Decorating
    • CPC30620 - Certificate III in Painting and Decorating
    • CPC31008 - Certificate III in Solid Plastering
    • CPC31011 - Certificate III in Solid Plastering
    • CPC31020 - Certificate III in Solid Plastering.
  • Shopfitting and Formwork/Falsework
    • BCF30100 - Certificate III in Off-site Construction (Shopfitting)
    • BCG30798 - Certificate III in General Construction (Carpentry - Framework/Formwork/Finishing)
    • CPC30116 - Certificate III in Shopfitting
    • CPC30120 - Certificate III in Shopfitting
    • CPC31508 - Certificate III in Formwork/Falsework
    • CPC31511 - Certificate III in Formwork/Falsework
    • CPC31808 - Certificate III in Shopfitting
    • CPC31811 - Certificate III in Shopfitting
    • CPC31812 - Certificate III in Shopfitting.
  • Wall, Floor and Ceiling Lining or Tiling
    • BCG30198 - Certificate III in General Construction (Wall and Floor Tiling)
    • BCG30298 - Certificate III in General Construction (Wall and Ceiling Lining)
    • BCG31203 - Certificate III in Wall and Ceiling Lining
    • BCG31303 - Certificate in Wall and Floor Tiling
    • CPC31208 - Certificate III in Wall and Ceiling Lining
    • CPC31211 - Certificate III in Wall and Ceiling Lining
    • CPC31220 - Certificate III in Wall and Ceiling Lining
    • CPC31308 - Certificate III in Wall and Floor Tiling
    • CPC31311 - Certificate III in Wall and Floor Tiling
    • CPC31320 - Certificate III in Wall and Floor Tiling.

This includes superseded qualifications and training packages.

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

  • 2017 to 2021 program enrolments
  • 2017 to 2021 program completions
  • 2021 subject enrolments.

 

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:

  • 2012 to 2021 commencements
  • 2012 to 2021 completions
  • apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2021 collection, by qualification and state and territory of data submitter.
Updated: 29 Nov 2022
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