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Some positive news about Construction Jobs in Melbourne


How To Work From Home: Life Kit : NPR


I think we’ve all just about had our dose of uncertainty and negativity and we’re ready to get back on the positive-news bus. At Stratacon we’re always looking for the silver lining and we wanted to highlight some of the positives we’re seeing in the Victorian construction jobs market:


  1. First of all, contract roles are on the rise as a proportion of Stratacon’s ‘jobs raised’ over the last 4 weeks and this is a trend playing out across the market
  2. Employers are engaging people to work-from-home across a variety of construction roles we’ve not previously seen working from home
  3. Public Sector opportunities are helping to bolster the built environment/capital works sector


1. Contract Roles:

The recent rise in contracting opportunities reflects a trend we predicted back in February (as news of the Coronavirus and its potential impact was just reaching Australia).

One of the most effective staffing strategies to offset the risk of economic uncertainty is the use of on-hire contractors. Why?


  • Flexibility around demand: On-hiring contractors (agency staff) is an effective strategy to match the workflow of your business. If work picks up you can offer staff more hours and longer-term contracts or hire additional workers. If work decreases, you can decrease hours, contractor numbers or reduce the length of contracts.
  • Pay for the hours worked: Whilst hourly rates are typically higher than permanent rates to offset leave entitlements, businesses pay only for the time worked.
  • Engage temp staff permanently: As economic conditions improve (or workers prove their contribution is critical to the long-term needs of the business), individuals can be engaged as permanent employees of the business. During times of economic recovery, the ability to quickly engage well-trained, proven temps as staff members can be a key to winning market share and expanding services.


A quick side note: Australia’s workplace laws in relation to engaging on-hire employees have become more complex over the last few years. If you decide that employing temporary staff is a strategy you’d like to pursue, please ensure your recruitment partner is well-versed in the Fair Work Act and is able to understand and apply the recent changes to Labour Hire Licencing laws and Fair Work Act Amendment to offer casual conversion.


2. Work-from-home growth:

Anyone who has been working in Melbourne since March 24th will now be familiar with working from home! Unless you’re a site-based construction worker, there’s been a major revolution going on in the lounge-rooms, bedrooms and converted coffee tables across the State! The positive outcome is that where some of our clients initially resisted the WFH movement in the first lockdown, we’ve seen a broader adoption of this policy now across non-site-based positions.


Kendra Banks, Managing Director of Seek ANZ supports this verdict, recently commenting: “Since the re-introduction of restrictions in metropolitan Melbourne, we have seen a decline in job ads, but this has not been as severe as what we saw in March and April. The fact that job advertising volumes have not declined as much during this second round of restrictions is testament to the resilience and adaptability of business owners, who are being innovative and trying to find ways to continue to operate.”


3. Public Sector Opportunities:

For built environment professionals including Engineers and Capital Works Project Managers, we’ve seen consistent demand from local governments. Some capital budgets have been brought forward and other major project plans fast-tracked to keep employment steady. This is again supported by Seek’s July Employment snapshot indicating Public Sector job ads had risen from 20% to 30% of total jobs across 2020.



It’s undoubtedly a tough time to be looking for work but our advice to job seekers backs these positive trends. Consider taking on contract work, make sure you’re set up to work from home (including attending zoom interviews), and if you have any previous local government experience then consider a return to this robust sector of our economy.


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