The calibre of construction in the Riverina region is moving ahead in leaps and bounds according to Master Builders Association executive director Brian Seidler
“It’s fantastic to see. Some of the judges are having to go back and revisit projects because there's so little difference between the winner and the runner up,” he said.
This impressive work was on show at the Riverina Regions Building Awards hosted by the Master Builders Association.
Commercial regional builder of the year, Zauner, will go onto the the state level of the competition while there is no next level for the domestic builder of the, PAH Innovative Construction.
While there could only be a handful of winners on the night, everyone in the construction industry can be considered a winner with an estimated $900 billion to be spent Australia wide on construction in the next four years.
NSW is set to share in 30 per cent of that figure.
“We say NSW is the nation's number on economy,” Mr Seidler said.
“Nationally, the construction industry is now the second largest sector.
“We employ around 1.15 million workers which is about 10 per cent of all Australians.
“The opportunities for young Australians is really fantastic.”
With more than 50 thousand dwellings started by the end of the March quarter this year construction is going strong.
“We forecast that to look after all this work we’ll need more than 300 thousand skilled workers nationally,” Mr Seidler said.
It’s estimated that around 30 thousand workers will leave the industry each year due to career change or retirement, making enticing young workers more important than ever.
Despite the boom within the industry, there is still a struggle to attract apprentices largely due to a push from parents for their children to go to university according to Mr Seidler.
Master Builders have partnered with NSW government and launched an initiative to get apprencies into construction and to university.
Apprentices can study a diploma while completing their trade. Once completed they can go to four different university the MBA has agreements with and get a year off a bachelor degree.
“This is a direct result of industry telling us that they want future managers to have a construction background,” Mr Seidler said.
Last year 25 students enrolled with 24 this year. Anyone in NSW is eligible to apply for the program.
Mr Seidler hopes to see some Wagga applicants in future especially considering the strong support the MBA has in Wagga.
Much of this support is thanks to the work of the late Scott Nash. His work is now honoured with the Scott Nash Memorial award which is presented to an outstanding young builder.
Read the Master Builders Association magazine here.