Trade Demand

The Demand for Trades: A Look at Australia’s Growing Blue-Collar Industries

In 2023, Australia’s economy faced challenges, including rising interest rates and inflationary pressures. Despite these headwinds, the Australian labor market, driven by a robust trade demand, showed resilience, with employment gains surpassing expectations. However, with consumer and business confidence waning, the labor market faces potential slowdowns. Interestingly, the trend of labor hoarding, where employers retain staff despite reduced utilization, has been prevalent, reflecting the difficulty in attracting skilled workers and anticipation of an economic rebound.

In the next part of the blog, we will delve into employment trends and forecasts, highlighting the most in-demand trades, both local and foreign, and exploring the roles of recruitment agencies and entrepreneurial opportunities within Australia’s blue-collar landscape.

The Current Landscape of Blue-Collar Trades in Australia

Thriving Sectors and COVID-19 Resilience

Major blue-collar industries like construction, automotive, and electrotechnology have been significant contributors to Australia’s economy. Despite the economic downturn, these sectors showed remarkable resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic, maintaining robust growth trajectories. The construction industry, in particular, experienced a recruitment surge, reaching its highest level in 12 years, underscoring its ability to effectively weather the pandemic’s impact.

Economic Downturn and Sector-Specific Impacts

While some sectors thrived, others faced challenges due to elevated interest rates and inflation. Industries heavily reliant on consumer spending, such as manufacturing and wholesale trade, are projected to experience a downturn in 2024. The blue-collar workforce, particularly in manufacturing, is expected to bear the brunt of this slowdown, with only marginal growth anticipated in the coming year.

The In-Demand Trades and the Factors Driving Trade Demand

In-Demand Trades and the Factors Driving Trade Demand

Automotive Trades

The automotive sector highlights a significant portion of the trades needed in Australia, encompassing roles like motor mechanics, panel beaters, and heavy vehicle mechanics. This demand is primarily driven by a lack of specialized skills in applicants. As the work in this sector is hands-on and detail-oriented, requiring advanced technical skills, there is a high demand for qualified individuals in these roles.

Construction Trades

In construction, the demand for skilled plumbers, carpenters, painters, and bricklayers highlights some of the key trades needed in Australia. This need is fueled by a combination of factors, including a lack of relevant experience and inadequate technical skills among applicants. As one of the highest-paying sectors, the construction industry offers significant job opportunities for qualified tradespeople. The notable gap between the demand for and supply of skilled workers in this industry presents a lucrative opportunity for those equipped with the necessary skills.

Electrotechnology Industry

The electrotechnology industry, which includes roles such as electricians, air-conditioning and refrigeration mechanics, and telecommunications specialists, has seen an increased trade demand across Australia. These positions represent some of the critical trades needed in Australia, especially in regional areas where employers often struggle to recruit suitable applicants. While electrotechnology vacancies are generally filled without much difficulty in urban centers, the challenge in regional recruitment underscores the ongoing need for skilled workers in this vital sector.

Engineering Sector

Engineering, covering a broad range of specializations, has experienced a steady increase in vacancies, highlighting its role among the critical trades needed in Australia. Although the industry isn’t growing as rapidly as others, the decline in the number of suitable applicants for advertised roles indicates a persistent demand for these trades. Specializations like civil engineering are expected to offer more opportunities, with strong growth predicted in this sector.

International Recruitment to Address Skill Shortages

International Recruitment to Address Skill Shortages

Australia is proactively addressing its skills deficit by both training its citizens and welcoming immigrants, particularly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to rejuvenate its economy. The Skilled Migration Programme of the Australian government highlights job opportunities for foreign workers, reflecting a strong need for overseas skilled labor. The expected net migration from overseas is projected to be 400,000 in the 2023-23 period and 315,000 in 2023-24.

With this skills gap, the need for workers in trades has risen, especially for those coming from other countries. The Australian government is actively promoting major job openings for qualified immigrants and international workers seeking employment in Australia.

Specific Industries Seeking Foreign Talent

IndustryJobs Available
Trades and ConstructionTechnicians: electricians, carpenters, joiners, plumbers
Non-skilled laborers: construction workers, agriculture, farm work
Automotive and Engineering TradesAutomotive Electricians
Transmission Mechanics
Air-conditioning Mechanics
Brake Mechanics
Metal Machinists
Sheet Metal Workers
Panel Beaters
Metal Fabricators
Engineering SectorMechanical Engineers
Industrial Engineers
Electronics Engineers
Transport Engineers
Electrical Engineers

Are you a job seeker looking for your next big opportunity? Click below to see how we can assist you in finding the perfect role.

The Role of Recruitment Agencies

The Role of Recruitment Agencies

Recruitment agencies play a vital role in matching skilled workers with job opportunities in the blue-collar trades. With the increasing trade demand for people, recruitment agencies have become an essential resource for employers seeking qualified candidates. These agencies specialize in sourcing and vetting potential employees, saving businesses time and effort in the recruitment process.

What Did Recruitment Agencies Do to Help Trade Demand?

Recruitment Marketing and Employer Branding

Recruitment agencies focus on marketing and branding strategies to attract blue-collar talent, using digital platforms and targeted outreach to connect with the right candidates.

Flexibility and Empathy

Agencies advise employers to offer flexible working arrangements, such as varied shift options and transportation subsidies, to meet modern workers’ expectations for a more people-friendly workplace.

Addressing Skills Gaps

To tackle the post-pandemic skills shortage, agencies are emphasizing reskilling the current workforce and hiring new talents with essential skills in industries like construction, healthcare, and technology.

Personalized Candidate Experience

Recruitment agencies use personalized marketing techniques, such as creating candidate personas and targeted strategies, to attract diverse candidate segments.

Efficient Hiring Processes

Agencies advocate for speeding up the hiring process, improving candidate quality, and strengthening employer branding to gain a competitive edge in the fast-paced job market.

Assistance with Requirements and Skills Assessments

Recruitment agencies also play a crucial role in guiding applicants, particularly those from foreign countries. They help provide information and reminders about necessary requirements and skills assessment programs they need for employment.

Interested in how we can support your role as an employer? Click below to learn more.


Blue-collar trades are key to Australia’s economic success, with employers facing challenges in the search for skilled workers. The demand for blue-collar trades or trade demand is expected to remain high in the foreseeable future, and recruitment agencies are playing an important role in connecting employers with suitable candidates.

With the rising trade demand, DayJob Recruitment has established itself as a leading force in the industry, effectively matching local and international skilled professionals with suitable employers. Focusing on stone industry jobs in Australia, DayJob Recruitment utilizes innovative recruitment strategies and emphasizes flexibility, safety, and personalized experiences to bridge the skills gap in the market effectively.

For those seeking trade jobs in Australia, reach out to DayJob Recruitment to discover how their services can propel you toward success in the dynamic world of Australia’s blue-collar industries.


What is the Migration Skills Assessment (MSA) Program, and Who Needs It?

The MSA program is essential for individuals seeking a skilled migration visa to Australia. It assesses if applicants have the necessary skills and experience to work in Australia in their nominated occupation. This program is managed by Trades Recognition Australia (TRA) and is a critical step for those needing a skills assessment as part of their visa application.

How Does the Offshore Skills Assessment Program (OSAP) Differ from MSA?

The OSAP is specifically designed for applicants outside Australia who need a skills assessment for their skilled migration visa application. It assesses whether individuals have the required level of trade skills gained overseas and experience for their nominated occupation in Australia. This program is compulsory for applicants from nominated countries and occupations listed by Trades Recognition Australia​​.

What Skills Assessment Programs are Available for Trades in Australia?

Trades Recognition Australia offers various skills assessment programs tailored to different occupations, countries of passport, study locations, and visa types. These include the MSA, TSS Skills Assessment Program, and others, catering to both domestic and international applicants with trade skills​​​​

What is the Migration Points Advice (MPA) Program, and Who is it For?

The MPA program is for individuals who have successfully completed a TRA skills assessment and wish to apply for a points-tested, independent skilled migration visa. This program helps determine the number of points an applicant may receive for their migration application, which is crucial for those seeking to migrate based on their trade skills.

Can International Graduates in Australia Participate in the Job Ready Program (JRP)?

Yes, the JRP is an employment-based skills assessment program for international student graduates who have an Australian qualification verified through a Provisional Skills Assessment. It allows these graduates to develop their skills and gain employment experience in an Australian workplace, enhancing their readiness for the job market​​.

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