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Specialist Construction Services


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

The Specialist Construction Services sector includes other construction services such as construction crane operations, waterproofing of buildings, dogging, post-tensioning, rigging, scaffolding, and swimming pool or spa building. Landscape Construction services and Hire of Construction Machinery are also classified as part of this sector. These sub-sectors are typically characterised by small-scale businesses that operate at the local level, with a few large-scale businesses operating in waterproofing and scaffolding services.

Across this sector, licensing requirements vary depending on the type of work. In the Construction Machinery industry, relevant qualifications and licensing are mandatory for equipment operators, project directors and supervisors. National high-risk work licences are also needed for working on all types of cranes. Contractors in waterproofing and scaffolding are required to have high-risk work licenses for scaffolding and rigging. However, many other services do not require formal qualifications or licenses.

Nationally recognised training for Specialist Construction 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 this sector (represented by the ‘Other Construction Services’ industry code) have trended higher despite some fluctuations due to industry cycles. The employment level in 2020 was nearly 121,000 and is predicted to remain about the same level in 2024.

VET-related occupations in this sector are generally predicted to experience rises in employment between 2020 and 2024, apart from Crane, Hoist and Lift Operators. Structural Steel Construction Workers and Insulation and Home Improvement Installers are predicted to have the strongest growth over this period at 15% and 9% respectively.

Training trends

Training snapshot

Program enrolments in Specialist Construction Services-related qualifications fell from approximately 13,690 in 2015 to around 8,760 in 2019. During the same time period, program completions remained relatively stable apart from a spike in 2016, with 1,020 recorded over 2019. Nearly all program enrolments in this sector were at the certificate III level (99%) in 2019. The area of Dogging saw the most enrolments, with just over 4,860 in 2019. The most common intended occupation in this sector is Crane, Hoist or Lift Operator (56%).

Private training providers delivered 89% of Specialist Construction Services-related qualifications in 2019, with the remaining 11% delivered by TAFE institutes. All training in the area of Dogging was delivered by private training providers. The majority of subjects in Specialist Construction Services-related qualifications delivered at private training providers were funded by domestic fee for service (84%), while those at TAFE institutes were all Commonwealth and state funded (100%).

In 2019, the majority of program enrolments in Specialist Construction Services-related qualifications were reported by students residing in Queensland (57%), followed by New South Wales (19%) and Victoria (14%). The majority of training was delivered in Queensland (61%), followed by New South Wales (18%) and Victoria (14%).

Apprentice and trainee commencements and completions have fluctuated between 2010 and 2019, peaking in 2013. In 2019, 180 commencements and nearly 60 completions were recorded. The most common intended occupation for apprentices and trainees in this sector was Scaffolder. Queensland (45%) and New South Wales (27%) reported the highest proportion of apprentices and trainees in 2019, followed by Western Australia (13%) and the Australian Capital Territory (10%).

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.

Challenges and opportunities discussed in the Construction, Plumbing and Services IRC's 2019 Skills Forecast in relation to the Specialist Construction Services sector include the introduction of new technologies, digitalisation, including increased uptake of mobile devices, and consumer demand for smart and green construction. Routine, lower-skilled and high safety risk jobs and tasks are more likely to be automated. The workforce will need to be trained, re-trained and upskilled to use these new technologies, and for the new jobs and tasks that arise.

The Construction, Plumbing and Services IRC's 2019 Skills Forecast states industry feedback has highlighted a skills gap in relation to Commercial Waterproofing. High rise apartment blocks are classified as commercial buildings, and with multiple levels and areas requiring waterproofing, are more complex than residential buildings. The complexity of the design and application of waterproofing systems for commercial buildings require skills and knowledge not covered in the current certificate III qualification.

Links and resources

Data sources and notes

Department of Employment 2020, Employment Projections, available from the Labour Market Information Portal:

  • by ANZSIC 3-digit 329 Other Construction Services industry, employment projections to May 2024.
  • by ANZSCO, selected occupations, employment projections to May 2024
    • 7121 Crane, Hoist and Lift Operators
    • 8213 Fencers
    • 8993 Handypersons
    • 8214 Insulation and Home Improvement Installers
    • 8217 Structural Steel Construction Workers.

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 329 Other Construction 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 329 Other Construction 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 packages or qualifications:

  • CPC Construction, Plumbing and Services, BCF Off-Site Construction, BCG General Construction and BCP Plumbing and Services Training Packages.
  • Construction Waterproofing and Swimming Pool/Spa Building
    • BCG31403 - Certificate III in Waterproofing (General Construction)
    • CPC31408 - Certificate III in Construction Waterproofing
    • CPC31411 - Certificate III in Construction Waterproofing
    • CPC40808 - Certificate IV in Swimming Pool and Spa Building.
  • Dogging
    • BCG30503 - Certificate III in Dogging
    • CPC30508 - Certificate III in Dogging
    • CPC30511 - Certificate III in Dogging.
  • Rigging
    • BCG30703 - Certificate III in Rigging
    • CPC30708 - Certificate III in Rigging
    • CPC30711 - Certificate III in Rigging
    • CPC31712 - Certificate III in Post-Tensioning.
  • Scaffolding and Construction Crane Operations
    • BCG30903 - Certificate III in Scaffolding
    • CPC30908 - Certificate III in Scaffolding
    • CPC30911 - Certificate III in Scaffolding
    • CPC32912 - Certificate III in Construction Crane Operations.

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 subject 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: 15 Dec 2020
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