Buildskills Australia officially launched to tackle skills shortage

A new entity established by the Federal Government to tackle Australia’s skills shortage in the built environment sector was formally launched this week by the Minister for Skills and Training, Brendan O’Connor.

The Minister for Skills and Training, Brendan O’Connor, formally launched a new entity established by the Federal Government to tackle Australia’s skills shortage in the built environment sector.

BuildSkills Australia is preparing the country’s first workforce plan for the sector and will become a strong and strategic voice of the construction, property and water industries.

The newly established Jobs and Skills Council (JSC) was established by the Federal Government’s Department of Employment and Workplace Relations to address Australia’s skills and training needs.

Co-Chair of the Board of BuildSkills Australia Paula Masters said the entity would provide leadership, innovation and a level of research and insight not previously available to industry.

“Our priority now is to develop the first-ever national workforce plan for the construction, property and water industries, and this work is already well underway,” Masters said. “The comprehensive plan will support Federal Government policy making and support skills and training needs across the sector.”

Masters said training tomorrow’s workforce was a key part of BuildSkills Australia’s mandate.

“BuildSkills’ workforce plan will prioritise ensuring the skills and training of today meet the needs of the future,” she said.

Skills shortage needs everyone involved

Co-Chair Gabrielle Trainor, AO, an ambassador for female participation in construction and infrastructure, said Australia was looking for a new way forward with a strong, diverse workforce.

“The built environment sector is changing rapidly, and I foresee amazing opportunities, particularly for women to step up and fill roles they may never have considered before,” Trainor said. “Creating new pathways and increasing diversity in the workforce is essential for a more productive industry to support strong growth in the country’s economy.”

Trainor said BuildSkills has established a highly qualified team led by Chief Executive Officer Brett Schimming, who has hit the ground running.

“We have assembled a team of respected industry leaders and experts to engage with industry and drive solutions that can meet the long-term needs of the built environment sector,” she said. “Building skills is about building our future. The time to act is now.”

BuildSkills Australia is holding roundtable events in every state and territory throughout February and March to seek input on the workforce plan from the government, employer groups, unions, and training and education bodies. For more information or to get involved, go to

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