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Building Structure Services

Overview

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.

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

 

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

Overall, the employment level increased in the Building Structure Services industry from 66,000 in 2002 to 89,800 in 2022, although it has fluctuated over this period reaching a peak of 107,600 in 2019. The employment projection indicates a decrease to 86,500 by 2025.

More than a quarter (28%) of the Building Structure Services industry workforce is employed as Concreters, followed by Bricklayers and Stonemasons (17%) and Roof Tilers (7%). Projections to 2026 indicate slight to no growth in employment in these occupations. However, employment in other VET-related occupations in this industry are projected to grow to 2026, with Construction Managers likely to increase by 10% and Plumbers and Building and Plumbing Labourers to rise by 9% each.

Training trends

Training snapshot

Overall, program enrolments in Building Structure Services-related qualifications declined steadily between 2017 to 2021, from approximately 7,190 to 6,270. However, program enrolments increased between 2020 and 2021 by approximately 21%. Program completions also declined over the five-year period, from about 2,030 in 2017 to 1,850 in 2021, although completions did increase between 2020 and 2021 by about 25%.

Program enrolments in certificate III level qualifications dominated (100%) training in this sector in 2021. More than half (57%) of training was in Bricklaying/Blocklaying, Paving and Stonemasonry qualifications, followed by Concreting and Steelfixing (32%). The most common intended occupation for qualifications in this sector was Bricklayer, followed by Concreter.

Overall, just over half (51%) of training in Building Structure Services-related qualifications was delivered by private training providers in 2021, with TAFE institutes delivering slightly less than half (45%). However, there was some variation across the different qualification clusters.

Approximately 62% of subject enrolments in Building Structure Services-related qualifications were Commonwealth and state funded in 2021. As such, the training delivered by TAFE institutes (90%) and universities (100%) was Commonwealth and state funded. The funding arrangements of private training providers were mostly split between domestic fee for service (53%) and Commonwealth and state funding (39%).

Victoria had the highest proportion of students (37%) enrolled in Building Structure Services-related qualifications, followed by New South Wales (27%) and Queensland (20%). Training was mainly delivered in Victoria (40%), followed by New South Wales (26%), and Queensland (23%).

Overall, apprentice and trainee commencements increased from approximately 1,480 in 2012 to more than 1,790 in 2021. However, over this 10-year period commencements fluctuated, peaking at about 2,350 in 2014 before declining to 1,400 in 2019. Overall, apprentice and trainee completions declined from approximately 800 in 2012 to about 700 in 2021, although the number fluctuated over the ten-year trend.

The most common intended occupations for apprentices and trainees in Building Structure Services-related qualifications were Bricklayer (62%), followed by Roof Tiler (16%) and Concreter (13%). Victoria had the highest proportion of apprentices and trainees in training (32%) in this sector in 2021, followed by New South Wales (30%) and Queensland (18%).

For more data specific to your occupation, industry 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.

The Construction, Plumbing and Services IRC's 2020 Skills Forecast was the final skills forecast released by the IRC. It reported that emerging industry change and client demand for modern methods of construction were driving the new workforce trend of precast concrete construction. According to the IRC global demand for precast concrete was predicted to increase 6.5% per year, at an estimated $185.53 billion by 2023. However, the increase has been marked by a number of incidents causing injury and in some cases death.

Due to its weight and size, precast concrete requires proper technique in temporary support, and lifting during installation. As such, the IRC reported that the industry sought national training in precast use, installation and assembly of prefabricated components and non-traditional building materials.

In response, a package has been developed, comprising a Certificate II in Prefabricated Concrete Element Installation, seven new units of competency and three skill sets. The proposed package will enable riggers and other workers involved in lifting, placing and installing prefabricated concrete to upskill and formalise their work experience and offer a pathway for those who want to enter the construction industry. See Precast Concrete Installation in Building and Construction for further information.

The IRC’s 2020 Skills Forecast also reported key skill needs were emerging in Steel Construction. Many of the units of competency in carpentry were amended to provide for a choice of construction material - timber or steel. This catered for geographic differences in the trade, for example, timber is not used in the north of Australia and changes to construction methods where steel is increasingly used for framing in both commercial and residential construction.

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

Precast Concrete Installation in Building and Construction (current project) – Artibus Innovation

 

Industry associations and advisory bodies

Brick and Block Careers (formerly Australian Brick and Blocklaying Training Foundation)

Housing Industry Association (HIA)

Master Builders Australia (MBA)

Metal Roofing and Cladding Association of Australia (MRCAA)

 

Employee associations

Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU)

Australian Workers’ Union (AWU)

Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU

Data sources and notes

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

  • by ANZSIC 3-digit 322 Building Structure 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
    • 3311 Bricklayers and Stonemasons
    • 8211 Building and Plumbing Labourers
    • 8212 Concreters
    • 1331 Construction Managers
    • 3341 Plumbers
    • 3333 Roof 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 322 Building Structure 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 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)
    • CPC32320 - Certificate III in Stonemasonry
    • CPC33020 - Certificate III in Bricklaying and Blocklaying.
  • 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
    • CPC30318 - Certificate III in Concreting
    • CPC30320 - Certificate III in Concreting
    • CPC31108 - Certificate III in Steelfixing
    • CPC31111 - Certificate III in Steelfixing
    • CPC31120 - 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
    • CPC30820 - 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:

  • 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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