One of the biggest issues that general contractors in Australia face is the rising labour shortage. It can be a very frustrating problem and can even put a project on hold. Today, we will provide 07 helpful tips that general contractors can use to address this issue.

If you are a general contractor, you can apply our tips and see if they can bring positive changes to your projects and operations.  

The Labour Shortage in Australia

Currently, there is an acute labour shortage in the country. For example, the construction industry is booming. But there aren’t enough workers to meet the rising demand. One of the main reasons for this shortage is that trade jobs are not attracting many young Australians.

In the next section, we will discuss the negative impact of the growing labour shortage on the economy.   

The Negative Impact of Labour Shortage

The labour shortage can have a significant negative impact on various industries and the economy as a whole. Some of the main negative effects include:

Reduced productivity: Without enough workers to meet demand, businesses may struggle to keep up with production and may experience delays and reduced productivity.

Increased costs: Businesses may have to pay higher wages and benefits to attract and retain workers, which can lead to increased costs and reduced profitability.

Difficulty in expanding: Businesses may struggle to expand and take on new projects if they do not have enough workers to do the work.

Difficulty in filling key roles: Businesses may struggle to fill key roles, such as skilled tradespeople or management positions, which can have a negative impact on the overall operations of the business.

Reduced economic growth: The labour shortage can lead to reduced economic growth as businesses struggle to meet demand, which can have a negative impact on the overall economy.

Reduced investment: Companies may not invest in new projects and expansions, due to the uncertainty of finding the right workforce, which can have a negative impact on economic growth.

Increased pressure on the existing workforce: With a smaller workforce, the existing employees will have to take on more responsibilities and work longer hours, which can lead to burnout and reduced morale.

Overall, the labour shortage can affect multiple industries at the same time. It is important for the government and businesses to work together to find solutions to address this burning issue.

07 Tips for General Contractors to Combat Labour Shortages

Let’s go through 07 useful tips that general contractors can use to combat labour shortages. These tips may not solve the whole issue. But they can definitely minimise the impact of the problem.

1. Increase Wages and Benefits

One of the most effective ways to combat labour shortages is to increase wages and benefits for workers. This can make your project more attractive to potential employees and can also help retain current workers.

2. Offer Training and Development Programs

Another way to combat labour shortages is to offer training and development programs to workers. This can help workers improve their skills and advance in their careers, which can grow their overall reputation in the industry.

3. Use Technology to Automate Repetitive Tasks

With the help of technology, it is possible to automate repetitive tasks and free up workers to focus on more complex and higher-value tasks. General contractors should look into intuitive technological solutions like ERP packages to increase workplace efficiency.

4. Utilise Subcontractors

Subcontractors can help fill labour shortages by providing additional workers when needed. However, it is important to carefully vet subcontractors and establish clear lines of communication to ensure that the work is being done properly.

5. Recruit from Non-traditional Sources

Consider recruiting workers from non-traditional sources, such as women and minorities, who may be underrepresented in the construction industry. Even though this idea may seem disruptive to some, diversity and inclusion can be a way to address labour shortages.

6. Partner with local vocational schools and training programs

Partnering with local vocational schools and training programs can help you find and train new workers. It can also be a way to support the local community. One of the ways general contractors can achieve this goal is by partnering with local RTOs (Registered Training Organisations).

7. Improve Workplace Safety

Improving site safety can reduce accidents and injuries, which can lead to worker shortages due to illness or injury. By creating a safer work environment, you can reduce the risk of worker shortages and improve employee satisfaction.

Courses for General Contractors

There are various courses and qualifications for building a career as a general contractor. Enrolling in a course can be a great way to learn how to tackle crucial issues in the industry, like the labour shortage. We highly recommend the following courses for building a career in this field:

You can obtain a formal certification after completing a course at a Registered Training Organisation or RTO. Several RTOs all over the country offer courses like a building and construction diploma or certificate.


Overall, labour shortages can be a major challenge for general contractors, but by implementing a combination of strategies such as increasing wages and benefits, offering training and development programs, utilising technology and subcontractors, recruiting from non-traditional sources, partnering with local vocational schools and training programs, and improving job site safety, general contractors can combat labour shortages and keep their projects on track.