Chinese tradie flood in Australia as Italian, Greek builders slip away

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A fall in Greek, Italian, Balkan and Arabic speakers on Australian building sites have sparked warnings of labour shortages and construction cost blowouts under current migration settings.

According to The Australian, a HIA analysis has revealed a major pivot to Asia, with a 56 per cent increase in construction workers speaking a language other than English from there.

Census figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics also showcase that 16.4% of the overall construction workforce speaks a language other than English at home, and in keeping with migratory patterns, the numbers show that a bigger proportion of migrants arrive from Asia and less from Europe.

Greek-speaking builders fell from 8.9 per cent to 5.6 per cent, while Croatian, Serbian and Macedonian-speaking construction workers dropped out of the top 10 and were replaced by Punjabi, Hazaraghi and Korean-speakers.

The HIA and Master Builders Australia have voiced concern that the Albanese government’s migration review fails to address the need for more targeted and expedited pathways for skilled construction workers.

The HIA and Master Builders Australia have raised concerns the Albanese government’s migration review failed to address the need for targeted and faster pathways for skilled construction workers.
The HIA and Master Builders Australia have raised concerns the Albanese government’s migration review failed to address the need for targeted and faster pathways for skilled construction workers. Photo: The Australian.

The leader of the HIA’s future workforce and industry research unit, Mr Murray, said the increased cultural and linguistic diversity in the construction sector over the past decade “reflects Australia’s success as a multicultural society … much of this cultural and linguistic diversity is from migration … however, the construction industry still rates very poorly when compared to other sectors when it comes to recruiting migrant workers”.

“Without these workers, there is very little chance of building the 1.2 million homes the government aims to deliver over the next five years,” Murray said.

Source: The Australian

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