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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 were expected to account for less than 20% of industry revenue in 2018-19. Businesses are location based and service local and regional populations.

The Non-residential building construction industry operates in areas such as industrial, commercial and institutional building construction. Overall, the industry is characterised by small-scale businesses, however it includes some of the country's largest building firms, with the four largest companies in commercial building generating less than 20% industry revenue for commercial and industrial building.

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 industry primarily subdivide and amalgamate land into lots as well as prepare and service land for sale. Similarly, businesses in Site preparation services typically conduct earthmoving work in preparation for construction, such as levelling sites, excavating foundations, digging trenches and removing overburden. This sector also includes businesses that hire out earthmoving equipment.

This 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.

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

Employment trends

Employment snapshot

Overall employment levels in Building Construction rose from 211,200 in 2002 to 318,800 in 2022, with particularly strong growth between 2012 and 2018. Since then, growth has fluctuated. However, the employment level is projected to rise to 389,300 to 2025.

Construction Managers comprised nearly one-fifth (19%) of the total General Construction and Demolition workforce, Carpenters and Joiners made up a further 16% of the workforce. Employment projections to 2026 across VET-related occupations for this industry are mixed, with some occupations projected to grow, particularly Architectural, Building and Surveying Technicians (12%), Construction Managers (10%) and Building and Plumbing Labourers (9%).

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 declined overall, from approximately 99,270 in 2017 to 80,130 in 2021. Program completions fluctuated between 2017 and 2021, however in overall terms increased from 19,760 to about 23,670 over the five-year period.

In 2021, almost all program enrolments were dispersed across four qualification levels: certificate I (26%), certificate II (23%), certificate IV (30%) and diploma or higher (20%). Approximately half (50%) of program enrolments were in Certificate I or II in Construction or Construction Pathways, followed by Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Various) (30%), and Diploma of Building and Construction (Building or Management) (20%). Qualifications in this sector tended to lead to the occupations of Building Associate (29%), Earthmoving Labourer (26%), Builder’s Labourer (24%) and Project Builder (19%).

Private training providers delivered 55% of training in General Construction and Demolition-related qualifications in 2021, with 25% delivered by TAFE institutes and 17% by schools. Most subjects in this sector were Commonwealth and state funded (62%), and 30% of enrolments funded by domestic fee for service. However, there was some variation in the funding source depending on the type of provider.

New South Wales had the highest proportion (33%) of all states and territories of students enrolled in General Construction and Demolition-related qualifications in 2021, followed by Queensland (24%) and Victoria (21%). More than a third (34%) of training was delivered in New South Wales, more than a quarter (27%) in Queensland, and just less than a quarter (24%) was delivered in Victoria in 2021.

Overall, apprentice and trainee commencements in this sector increased between 2012 and 2021, with a sharp and significant increase in 2015 before peaking in 2017 at more than 1,460. In 2021, there were approximately 1,260 commencements. Similarly, apprentice and trainee completions increased overall between 2012 and 2021, although numbers fluctuated over this period. In 2021, there were 770 apprentice and trainee completions.

The main intended occupations of apprentices and trainees undertaking General Construction and Demolition-related qualifications were Building Associate (45%), followed by Builder’s Labourer (24%) and Project Builder (15%). New South Wales reported the highest number of apprentices and trainees (37%), followed by Victoria (30%) and Western Australia (17%).

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

 

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 skills, detail-orientated and planning skills.  The most advertised occupations in this sector were Architectural, Building and Surveying Technicians followed by Contract, Program and Project Administrators. The employers with the most job openings were Lend Lease Corporation Limited followed by Metricon Homes Pty Ltd and Fletcher Building Limited.

The Construction, Plumbing and Services IRC’s 2020 Skills Forecast was the final skills forecast released by the IRC. It reported that new developments and emerging specialisations within the Construction sector required tailored training solutions, such as those for prefabrication. Modern methods of construction were increasing reliance on new technologies, impacting the skill needs of workers in the industry as construction became increasingly digitised.

The 2020 Skills Forecast also outlined demand for heritage skills, stating these skills had seen significant impact 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 would increasingly be required to integrate traditional methods and cutting-edge technology. As such, the 2020 Skills Forecast outlined the development of a dedicated national training skill set for heritage trades skill set; see Project 2 – Heritage skills.

These trends were emerging within an existing environment of continuing and intensifying regulation, according to the 2020 Skills Forecast. The impact of regulation on driving skills needs was outlined in the Victorian Skills Commissioner’s Sector Snapshot: Victoria’s Residential Construction Sector. It reported that in residential construction industry, the planned changes to the National Construction Code (NCC) in 2022 would require upskilling of the workforce. According to the Sector Snapshot, new building requirements included changes to airtightness standards, condensation management, cavity fixing of cladding and the potential for emphasis on accessible housing. These new standards would result in changes to the way homes would be designed and built and the workforce would require new skills.

Links and resources

Data sources and notes

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

  • by ANZSIC 2-digit 30 Building Construction 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
    • 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 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 2-digit 30 Building Construction 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 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
    • CPC10120 - Certificate I in Construction
    • CPC20108 - Certificate II in Construction
    • CPC20111 - Certificate II in Construction
    • CPC20112 - Certificate II in Construction
    • CPC20120 - Certificate II in Construction
    • CPC20208 - Certificate II in Construction Pathways
    • CPC20211 - Certificate II in Construction Pathways
    • CPC20220 - Certificate II in Construction Pathways.
  • Certificate III or IV in Demolition
    • BCG30403 - Certificate III in Demolition (General Construction)
    • BCG31098 - Certificate III in General Construction (Demolition)
    • CPC30411 - Certificate III in Demolition
    • CPC30413 - Certificate III in Demolition
    • CPC30420 - Certificate III in Demolition
    • CPC41013 - Certificate IV in Demolition
    • CPC41020 - Certificate IV in Demolition.
  • Certificate 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)
    • CPC40120 - Certificate IV in Building and Construction
    • CPC40208 - Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Contract Administration)
    • CPC40308 - Certificate IV in Building and Construction (Estimating)
    • CPC40320 - Certificate IV in Building Project Support
    • 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)
    • CPC50220 - Diploma of Building and Construction (Building)
    • CPC50308 - Diploma of Building and Construction (Management)
    • CPC50320 - 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)
    • CPC60220 - 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:

  • 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 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:

  • 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.

 

Job vacancy data have been extracted from Lightcast 2022, Labor Insight Real-time Labor Market Information Tool, Boston, viewed August 2022, https://lightcast.io/apac.

Data shown represent most requested generic skills and occupations according to internet job postings in Australia between July 2019 and June 2022 filtered by ANZSIC and ANZSCO classification levels listed below.

  • Generic skills / Occupations
    • All major ANZSCO groups excluding Sales Workers
    • 30 Building Construction.
  • Employers
    • 3121 Architectural, Building and Surveying Technicians
    • 5111 Contract, Program and Project Administrators
    • 3312 Carpenters and Joiners
    • 1311 Advertising, Public Relations and Sales Managers
    • 5412 Information Officers
    • 30 Building Construction.
Updated: 29 Nov 2022
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