Bricklayers are the most in demand tradies as the building boom continues to sap the supply of skilled workers and materials.

The HIA Trades Availability Index deteriorated further in the September 2021 quarter, particularly in the residential construction sector.

Bricklayers, followed by finishing trades such as painters, plasterers and plumbers, were the worst affected as a large volume of HomeBuilder-based projects neared completion.

HIA economist Angela Lillicrap said skilled trades continued to be in high demand due to a record volume of detached home building and renovations.

“All regions across Australia are reporting an acute shortage of skilled trades and all trades are in short supply,” Lillicrap said.

“Regional Queensland, regional South Australia and Perth recorded improvements in the availability of skilled trades compared to the previous quarter.

“These small improvements reflect quarterly volatility, not a material improvement in the supply of trades.

“It is an excellent time to pursue an apprenticeship in residential building trades as the boom in home building is expected to continue throughout 2022 and into 2023.”

While skilled tradies were in low supply, the nation’s unemployment rate increased to 9.2 per cent last month, according to Roy Morgan, up 55,000 from September.

Driving the increase was a surge in people looking for part-time work and a decrease in people looking for full-time work, particularly as Sydney and Melbourne emerged from lockdowns.

Although the most acute skills shortage was seen for bricklayer the supply of bricks was plentiful, a trend unique to this segment’s supply chain.

Supply-chain crisis intensifies

Oxford Economics global risk survey found that supply-chain disruption still posed a great risk with only one in five companies believing the worst was behind them.

Those companies, which collectively employ 6 million people, businesses were more pessimistic about prospects in the year ahead due to price pressures, inflation and supplies.

Those who reported issues anticipated disruptions would end after mid-2022, an improvement on the previous month’s predictions that anticipated 2023 or later.

In Australia, the performance of construction index for October showed while supplier deliveries eased slightly, it was still one of the biggest problems for the industry with delivery disruptions and high freight cost reported across all sectors and locations.

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