ACA Survey Reveals Materials & Labour Supply Issues

Australian Constructors Association Survey Reveals Materials & Labour Supply Issues

The Australian Constructors Association (ACA) and Arcadis recently released a market sentiment survey that shows labour shortages and major increases in the cost of construction materials are seeing the construction sector across the nation overheat.

Some findings of interest to the steel industry include:

  • "Changing dynamics, from rising material costs and supply challenges, through to labour and skill shortages, are creating an extremely volatile market."
  • "The main issue is the productive capacity of the available workforce. Availability of skilled workers [and subcontractors] are in short supply and the opportunities to bring in resources from overseas are heavily regulated and impacted by systemic issues."
  • "Shipping costs have also increased adding to cost pressures for material procured overseas."
  • "Reinforcement, steelwork, and formwork are showing signs of the greatest stress in terms of material availability across the construction market."

Read the ACA Market Sentiment Survey

A sustainable construction industry

ACA has a vision for "a sustainable construction industry that is a great place to work", which is supported by the Australian Steel Institute. Their 2023 strategic plan outlines 4 priorities:

  • Culture – Work to rebuild trust with all industry stakeholders through improved mutual understanding of organisational drivers and constraints. Progress implementation of a new industry culture standard.
  • Capability and capacity – Strive to improve the attractiveness of the industry to address capability and capacity constraints.
  • Commercial frameworks – Work with industry and clients to mitigate escalation risk. Strive to improve industry productivity through effective contract models.
  • Environmental sustainability – Work collectively with other industry stakeholders to improve the environmental sustainability of the industry.

Another ACA initiative is FAIR – the Future Australian Infrastructure Rating. Its goal is to bring forward a consistent national approach to implementing broad industry reforms.