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As we look back over the past financial year and ahead to the 2020/21 year, CGC Recruitment is excited to launch our inaugural CGC in Focus Report on the state of Australia’s construction and infrastructure industries.

Across the overall industry and our specialist areas of Construction, Infrastructure, Engineering and Architecture, and Project Management, Consulting, and Development, we look at the recruitment implications on hiring and retaining top talent.

Construction and engineering recruitment update

Our focus on the construction and infrastructure sector gives CGC a strong understanding of the project lifecycles, government policy and economic considerations impacting our industry and the demand for skilled professionals. This enables our construction and engineering recruitment specialists to take the client’s viewpoint and provide strategic insights during the hiring process and identify opportunities for strategic expansion.

This deep market knowledge also gives us an insider perspective of our sector against the backdrop of the wider impact of COVID-19 on Australia’s economy and adapt to the new normal. With the huge pipeline of infrastructure activity in progress, and after last year’s Federal and NSW elections, market confidence was expected to be high at the end of the financial year.

This has not materialised due to external factors beyond our control, with the devastating summer of out-of-control bushfires followed by the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19. What our sector thankfully hasn’t experienced is wholesale layoffs and redundancies, despite some downsizing in the construction sectors.

The standout performers in the past year were within the infrastructure space, particularly rail and transport on the back of massive government investment. In Engineering, Data Centres/Mission Critical were both in short supply of talent, while Defence projects performed strongly. Better management of financial investments was a hot topic, with many companies looking for financially-savvy candidates.

The year ahead for our industry

We believe that business confidence will return once the health crisis is under control in Australia and momentum returns. There is a substantial backlog of work and government investment is pre-committed for construction and infrastructure projects. The Federal Government has also committed $270 billion to defence spending over the next 10 years.

With engineering and infrastructure playing key roles in Australia’s economic recovery, this will exacerbate skills shortages and the demand for talent. The government’s commitment to stimulating the economy will feed into our sectors, and with interest rates and the cost of borrowing low, we should be busy.

What does this mean for you?

Of necessity, companies have focused on short-term survival plans and cashflow management during these turbulent recent months. To deliver growth and profits in the coming year, focus on a clear business plan which minimises current risk and puts in place the right people and systems.

For many candidates, this period has been an opportunity for reflection. A chance to step back and think about professional and financial goals, the value you can bring to your current or next employer, and the type of projects and business you want to work with.

To read our expert predictions for the infrastructure, architecture, property development, construction and engineering recruitment sectors in the coming financial year, and what it means for you, click here.