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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 2019 Skills Forecast.

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


IRC and skills forecasts

IRCs now submit comprehensive Skills Forecasts to the AISC every 3 years, with abridged annual updates submitted in the intervening 2 years.

This industry page focuses mainly on the comprehensive version published in 2019.

Construction, Plumbing and Services Industry Reference Committee

Employment trends

Please note: any employment projections outlined below were calculated by the Australian Bureau of Statistics prior to COVID-19.

Employment snapshot

Employment levels in the Building Structure Services sector rose sharply between 2002 and 2004 and have fluctuated since that time. In 2020, employment levels declined from a peak in 2019 to 98,700 workers. The Australian Bureau of Statistics projects employment will grow in the sector to around 109,800 by 2024.

The most common VET-related occupation in this industry is Concreters, which has a projected employment growth over 13% by 2024. The next most common, Bricklayer and Stonemason, has a projected increase in employment levels of almost 6%.

Training trends

Training snapshot

Program enrolments in Building Structure Services-related qualifications have declined from a high of approximately 11,830 in 2015 to nearly 5,580 in 2019. Similarly, program completions peaked in 2015 declining to about 1,540 in 2019, although there have been some fluctuations in the intervening years. During 2019, nearly all enrolments in this sector were at the certificate III level (97%) with the remainder at the certificate II level. The most common area of training was Bricklaying/Blocklaying, Paving and Stonemasonry (59%). The most common intended occupation for qualifications in this sector was Bricklayer, followed by Concreter.

In 2019, a higher proportion of training in Building Structure Services-related qualifications was delivered by TAFE institutes (57%) than private training providers (40%). The remaining 3% of training was delivered by universities. About 79% of subjects for Building Structure Services-related qualifications were Commonwealth and state funded in 2019. As such, the training delivered by TAFE institutes (93%) and universities (99%) was Commonwealth and state funded. Just under 60% of training delivered by private training providers was Commonwealth and state funded; the remaining 42% was predominantly funded by domestic fee for service arrangements.

Over two-thirds (68%) of program enrolments in Building Structure Services-related qualifications were reported by students residing in Victoria (36%) and New South Wales (32%) in 2019. Smaller proportions of program enrolments were also reported in Queensland (18%) and South Australia (6%). Training was mainly delivered in Victoria (37%) and New South Wales (30%), followed by a further 20% in Queensland.

Apprentice and trainee commencements declined overall in this sector between 2010 and 2019, with just over 1,380 commencements in 2019. Completions remained relatively stable during the same period, with a peak of 1,050 in 2013. The most common intended occupations for apprentices and trainees in Building Structure Services-related qualifications are Bricklayer (63%), followed by Roof Tiler (19%) and Concreter (9%). As at December 2019, Victoria reported the highest proportion of apprentices and trainees in this sector (40%), with 34% reported by New South Wales and 13% by Queensland.

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

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

The Construction, Plumbing and Services IRC's 2019 Skills Forecast reports changes in skill requirements for several sub-sectors of the Building Structure Services sector. An updated version of the National Construction (NCC) was adopted in May 2019, and it includes updates regarding the building of concrete structures; particularly, the performance of concrete during an earthquake based on lessons-learned from the earthquake in Christchurch in 2011. The Opal Tower structural problems in 2018 have also highlighted the need for compliance and regulatory systems to conform to the NCC. Industry consultation has indicated a skills gap in composite roofing, and there are skills shortages in the occupations of Bricklayer and Stonemason, and Roof Tiler.

This sector includes trades that require substantial manual labour. The above 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

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


Relevant research

Industry Outlook 2018-19: Looking to the Horizon and Beyond – Construction Skills Queensland


Industry associations and advisory bodies

Australian Brick and Blocklaying Training Foundation (ABBTF)

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, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU)

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment 2019, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal:  

  • by ANZSIC 3-digit 322 Building Structure Services industry, employment projections to May 2024
  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2024
    • 3311 Bricklayers and Stonemasons
    • 8211 Building and Plumbing Labourers
    • 8212 Concreters
    • 1331 Construction Managers
    • 3341 Plumbers
    • 3333 Roof Tilers.

Australian Bureau of Statistics 2020, Employed persons by Industry group of main job (ANZSIC), Sex, State and Territory, November 1984 onwards, 6291.0.55.003 - EQ06, viewed 1 August 2020,

  • Employed total by ANZSIC 3-digit 322 Building Structure Services industry, 2000 to 2020, 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
    • CPC30318 - 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:

  • 2015 to 2019 program enrolments
  • 2015 to 2019 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 2019 commencements
  • 2010 to 2019 completions
  • 2019 apprentices and trainees in-training October to December 2019 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.

Updated: 14 Dec 2020
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