Qualified tradesmen have always been in demand in Oz and that’s unlikely to change anytime soon.
However, the skills and experience you have could well dictate where you’re most likely to pick up work.
For example, Sydney is all about looking to the skies – so if big developments are your background then you could be laughing all the way to the bank.
“Anybody who’s completed an apprenticeship and has got a decent skill level at either electrical work, plumbing work, or anything to do with air-conditioning or refrigeration is highly in demand,” says Hays regional director of construction Shane Little.
But he adds that the people New South Wales is crying out for is “anyone with commercial or industrial experience. People who’ve worked on big office block installations”.
Any brickies preferring smaller projects should head west, suggests Little.
“Bricklaying in NSW is probably pretty quiet, there’s not a huge amount of house building going on.
“People who’ve just done house wiring or house building in terms of plumbing or bricklaying are probably better off focusing on Western Australia,” he says.
Once in a job there’s a “massive variance” of pay and regular work, depending on where you are and whether you’re working for an agency, contractor or sub-contractor.
“Working through an agency you may not earn as much as if you work directly for a contractor,” says Little, “but you’re going to have more stability and work.”
However, while demand may be high, workers shouldn’t expect sponsorship on a plate, warns Little.
“A tradesman has to demonstrate that he’s reliable, efficient, hard-working and loyal.
“A large proportion are here to have the beers on the Sunday night, but those few who go that little bit extra can get sponsored.”