In the last of our four-blog MarketWrap series, we look at the trends and performance of the Project Management, Consulting and Development sectors within the construction industry over the past financial year and ahead to the coming financial year.
These MarketWraps have been part of our recruitment market intelligence piece - CGC in Focus. During the series, we’ve worked with a number of our recruitment experts including Stewart Armstrong, CGC’s Principal Consultant, Development Management & Quantity Surveying, to get his expert input across the quantity surveyor, construction land, and property development areas. And Associate Director, Construction Consulting & Development, Jamie Ryde, who provided an overview of project management, property investment and fundraising, property development, cost management and quantity surveying sectors.
The State of the Market – an overview
Project Management and Consulting
Better management of financial investments was a hot topic last year for many companies. Due to the pandemic, that is likely to continue; businesses are looking for the best routes for leveraging their investments and save money.
Most are in the first stage of a project, spending a lot of time fine-tuning and executing strategies for the new financial year and are keen to invest their funds as wisely as possible, with a greater understanding around the returns that can be expected at the end of a development project. And now we are starting to move into those second stages and the third stages as well.
Accordingly, companies are looking for financially savvy candidates who have skillsets in working with early stage financial planning and different stakeholders, sector experience, good industry relationships and will be a good fit with their culture. Sought-after candidates have included investment specialists, project feasibility specialists and fund managers who are growing capital.
Commercial uncertainty and Residential nice opportunities
Commercial office space has been a major growth area over the last five (5) years with investment in major high-rise towers at Barangaroo and the CBD with the Sydney Metro station commitments. Looking ahead, there is currently a level of uncertainty over future demand as global organisations revaluate their requirements in the post COVID world.
Pockets of opportunities exist with the residential sector, specifically for first-time buyers who are looking for more affordable properties after government support measures have been expanded. The build to rent market has also been identified as a growing segment as new projects are announced across the major centres.
Additionally, many sports clubs are now looking at different ways of bringing in funds and planning ahead to ensure their future. Some have made agreements with developers to build apartments and community facilities on their land. This boosts clubs’ membership and foot traffic while enabling people to live in a community with and like-minded people, from club members to families and retirees.
This activity is happening right across Greater Sydney, among golf courses and bowling clubs in particular. Around NSW, there are great project opportunities, including clubs and communities in the Hunter Valley, Newcastle, and the Central Coast.
Unsurprisingly, bricks and mortar retail is underperforming with few clients recruiting in this development space, as Sydney’s local neighbourhood shopping centres continue to be impacted by the shift to online shopping. Something that COVID-19 could continue to impact and some developers are exiting this competitive sector, while others are adapting and evolving by offering in-person experiences that can’t be provided online, such as family services, child creches, hairdressers and boutique stores.
With the city running out of space, in metro areas, developers realise they need to go up, or further out geographically, to get most out of development space and upgrade facilities.
Building Services active across schools, health infrastructure and aged care sectors
In the Building Services area, government spending has been focused on schools and health infrastructure, with consultancies and project management consultants capitalising on these areas. Another key area of focus has been upgrading and expanding aged care facilities, with NSW’s aging population and shortfall in resources catering to this demographic well-documented in the media.
The aviation space was busy in FY19/20, with extensive business cases and a lot of consultancy work around Sydney Airport’s continuing development and the next building phase for the Western Sydney Airport. Whilst COVID-19 has impacted this industry, there is much work to be done in this sector to meet longer term goals.
The huge amount of government investment (a reported AU$1.5 billion) in infrastructure, including the new airport and Western Sydney’s continued development, is going to provide a lot of businesses with opportunities if they are not already on board. Exciting new types of market verticals are being introduced to consultancies, while local businesses are investing in attracting talent to their share of Western Sydney’s multiple infrastructure projects.
Looking Ahead to Financial Year 2020/21
FY19/20 was a difficult year for a lot of businesses; however, there were also considerable areas of positivity. That being said, the COVID-19 pandemic is literally changing the way Australians work, with little end in sight until a vaccine, if found. And while that means fewer workers in offices, it also requires more working space.
While there are new challenges, there are also a number of opportunities for both employees and employers as many organisations rethink their staffing, office space requirements and business models to adapt to the new normal. This will impact how we recruit, retain, manage, and motivate teams.
At CGC, we understand the big recruitment issues, and this depth of insight can give both our clients and candidates confidence to make the right decisions.
To get a full breakdown of key construction recommendations plus CGC’s view on the year ahead, download our full CGC in Focus Report.
CGC in Focus - Infrastructure Opportunities
At CGC Recruitment, our team of experienced consultants specialise in all major infrastructure, engineering and construction sectors. We help clients throughout Australia deliver their projects by attracting the best candidates and talent.
FY20 was a difficult year for most businesses – with elections (state and federal), rising unemployment, the drought, record national bushfires and, of course, COVID-19. It was a medical, a financial and a leadership crisis, all in one. That’s why we developed CGC in Focus, as a response to the unprecedented business environment, demonstrating where we see recruitment challenges and opportunities for both our clients and candidates to achieve positive personal, professional and commercial outcomes.
To download CGC in Focus, click here, or connect with CGC today and one of our experienced consultants will be happy to help.