2024-2025 Pre-Budget Submission to Treasury by Housing Industry Association

⚡️ Highlights:

1. Australia’s residential building industry needs a strong and stable workforce to deliver new homes and address skills needs.

2. There is a significant skills shortage across all sectors of the economy, including the residential building industry.

3. Skill development, workforce mobility, and suitable immigration settings are necessary to develop a strong and stable workforce.

4. Government support for apprenticeships and employers is crucial to attract and train skilled tradespeople.

5. Shortages of skilled workers extend to various roles in the residential building industry, including onsite trades, designers, architects, and engineers.

Executive Summary: Addressing the Workforce Challenges in Australia’s Residential Building Industry

Simon Croft, Chief Executive – Industry & Policy at the Housing Industry Association (HIA), has submitted a comprehensive pre-budget proposal to the Treasury on 25 January 2024. This submission emphasizes the urgent need for a consistent and reliable business environment to boost the supply of new homes in Australia. It highlights the critical role of developing a strong and stable workforce through skill development, workforce mobility, and suitable immigration settings to address the nation’s housing needs.

Key Challenges and Recommendations

  • Workforce Shortages: Australia faces a significant skills shortage across various sectors, with the residential building industry being no exception. The capacity to supply adequate housing is a major limitation in addressing broader economic skills needs.
  • Skilled Trades Shortage: Addressing the structural shortage of skilled trades is vital for improving Australia’s capacity to deliver homes, impacting affordability and making cities and regions more attractive for workers.

Strategic Recommendations for Workforce Development

  1. Promotion Campaign: Partner with the Federal Government to launch a 12-month campaign promoting the benefits of roles in the residential building industry, highlighting job and career opportunities.
  2. Apprentice Funding: Increase and commit long-term to apprentice and employer subsidies to encourage more employers to take on apprentices and support them through their apprenticeships.
  3. Immigration Process Simplification: Develop a streamlined visa program for in-demand trades and support this with an education program to assist participants in navigating the process.
  4. Upskilling the Industry: Fund the development of small business compliance, cash flow management, and risk mitigation programs.
  5. Professional Workforce Development: Support a range of traineeships and cadetships in high-demand professional construction careers.
See also  Soaring Rents in Australia: A Growing Challenge for Household Budgets in 2024

The HIA’s Role and Impact

The HIA, representing a membership of 60,000 across Australia, plays a pivotal role in delivering new homes through its diverse member base. The association’s contribution to the economy and employment is substantial, making it a key driver of the Australian economy. The HIA Trades Report, attached to the submission, provides an update on the changes in the price and availability of building trades as of September 2023.


The HIA’s pre-budget submission outlines a clear strategy to address the long-term workforce challenges in the residential building industry. By implementing these recommendations, there is an opportunity to boost the construction labor force, address current housing shortages, and establish a sustainable industry attractive to new entrants.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *