November 2019 Talent & Industry Insights

The construction, civil and rail industries continue to drive the Victorian and New South Wales economies with record investment/projects however their is a multi-layered micro-economy under the surface with some companies performing very well with others struggling. The only tangible differentiator is people. With margin pressure constant in this market, never has there been a more critical time to have the right people in the right roles.

To talk in basketball terms, teams (businesses) need to have a strong front court, strong back court and also bench depth. Once you have the correct team assembled, inspired coaching/leadership come to the forefront to ensure that the assembled roster perform to the desired standards. Scouting of future opponents (projects) and analysis of past performance’s then lay the foundations for continuous improvement.

There are many distractions in the marketplace and many people (or recruiters) sell themselves/people as the best option, but make sure you do your homework and you are working with true business partners who are looking to develop/maintain strong mutually beneficial relationships as opposed to getting their next commission cheque.

There is some excellent talent appearing in the marketplace, so now is the time to ensure you have the right mix of mature, developing and raw talent in your team’s.


February Infrastructure Update

The Civil Construction is beginning to hit it’s straps with Victoria and NSW leading the charge! However, with plenty of activity in the marketplace’s pressure on risk management, staff attraction/retention and business financial performance has never been greater.

Is it critical that employer’s dedicate the right level of due diligence in the recruitment process to ensure that the focus is not on getting a bum in the seat but rather on securing the right level of talent for the business. With current conditions only projected to get tighter, this pressure is only going to increase. Achieving the balance of needs vs. skill is going to be key for success.

Since Australia Day, Talent Associates have seen a huge increase in vacancies and recruitment activity in the Civil Construction industry. There are good people out there who are entering the marketplaces from interstate and overseas and also other’s who are disenchanted with their current arrangements. In particular proven project managers, commercial managers, project engineers and estimators are highly sought currently. In addition, strong operations managers with both soft skills and commercial skills are highly in demand.

Talent Associates have supported the Civil Construction industry for over 20 years and we remain committed to partnering with the industry to ensure that you receive a knowledgeable, ethical and dedicated recruitment service. We now provide contract staff on hourly, daily or weekly rates (with unlimited capability), executive search and permanent recruitment services.

May 2018 – Vic Infrastructure Update

The Infrastructure marketplace in Victoria is bustling with activity and opportunities. Major projects such as the Metro Tunnel, Westgate Tunnel, Southern Program Alliance and Melbourne’s third runway, continue to ramp up whilst new projects enter the fray. But when we dig deeper into the industry, we are in uncharted territory in terms of current works in hand and also upcoming projects.

  • The recent state budget offered just over $9 billion funding of projects, including $4.3bn for regional  roads, $1.9bn for rail, $2.2bn for roads in North/South-East and $704m for regional transport projects.
  • The federal budget allocated a $7.8 billion dollars of funding for road and rail projects with highlights including injecting funds into North-East link and two new rail lines.

Never has the Infrastructure industry in Victoria looked so good, but the challenge for all, will be the acquisition of staff/labour, retaining existing staff and managing the major growth in salary packages. Already we are seeing huge increases in salary and scarcity of talent.

Having been at the forefront of the recruitment sector for infrastructure for 20 years, Talent Associates are very well positioned to keep you informed of new talent to the marketplace and keep you abreast of the latest trends. We partner with clients, don’t scatter-gun resumes and more importantly work with industry/employers/candidates to secure great outcomes.

July 2017 Infrastructure Update

What an amazing few months we have had in the Australian Civil Construction industry with huge announcements across Australia on major projects as our industry is about to crank up to yet another gear!

Demand for experienced personnel across the industry continues to grow with everyone from tier 1 majors to small family owned subcontractors all looking to take advantage of the upswing in activity and/or to service existing needs. We are starting to see significant pressures on salary levels across the market as companies compete for scarce resources and major projects ramp up their thirst for resources.

Just a sample of some industry news;

  • The Melbourne Metro Tunnel (Vic) – Preferred consortium for tunnel & stations announced being; Cross Yarra Partnership (Lendlease Engineering, John Holland, Bouygues Construction and Capella Capital).
  • Westconnex M4-M5 Link (NSW) – $7.247bn, two consortium’s shortlisted for bid.
  • West Gate Tunnel (Vic) – Preferred consortium announced; headlined by John Holland and CPB Contractors.
  • Northern Gas Pipeline (NT) – Construction has commenced
  • Haughton River Floodplain Upgrade (QLD) – Shortlisted tenderers announced
  • Ballarat Rail Line Upgrade (Vic) – Lend Lease, Coleman Rail and SMEC named as the preferred bidder
  • Murray Basin Rail Project (Vic) – McConnell Dowell & Martinus Rail preferred Contractor
  • Sydney Metro Tunnel (NSW) – John Holland, CPB and Ghella awarded contract
  • New South Wales – Committing up to $72.7b to infrastructure investments over the next 4 years.
  • Vic Country Rail – $1.52bn announced in Vic Country Rail project

Talent Associates continue to be at the forefront of the provision of recruitment services across the Civil Construction industry and provide a highly knowledge & ethical service to our clients. If we can assist with any recruitment requirements please don’t hesitate to contact us.


March 2017 – Infrastructure Update

The Civil Construction industry in Victoria continues to go from strength with most areas of the marketplace being extremely busy and also talent poor. Areas of the market that we are seeing the most demand for high quality candidates is across rail, roads, land development and commercial civil. The most in demand area’s for staff currently seem to be Site/Project Engineers and also Foreman/Supervisors.

In busy times, we encourage companies to stay vigilant in their background checking of prospective employees as we are seeing a lot of companies compromising on the level of talent they are employing to fill seats which in turn is hurting them with employee turnover and financial outcomes on projects. The industry is very busy but there are also quality people seeking new opportunities in the market.

In terms of major project activity across the country it is huge! Major works are due to begin on the $10.9bn Metro tunnel in April, the Turnbull government have announced a $2bn Upgrade of Snowy Hydro scheme, the $500 million 10-year Midland Highway Action Plan is now being fast-tracked in Tasmania, the $400 million Ipswich Motorway Upgrade from Rocklea to Darra Stage 1 has been shortlisted to two bidders, SA have announced have announced a $12.1 billion spend on infrastructure and the RFT for the $500m Ballarat Line upgrade has been announced. The $800m Northern Gas Pipeline in now back up for grabs, $400m has been approved for federal funding for the Mackay Ring Road, an EOI has hit the market for the next 7.9km section of M80 upgrade and the green light has been given for the $3bn Split Bridge tunnel in Sydney.

July Infrastructure Talent Update

The Infrastructure construction industry is going gangbusters across Australia with talent quickly becoming scarce and salaries on a skyward trajectory. With the wave only just beginning, the industry is very upbeat and with the tier 1 contractors (for most part) with plenty of work on the books, the future looks bright for all tiers of operators within the industry.

In terms of demand for staff, you can almost throw a blanket over most roles at all levels, but Project Manager’s with a strong track record in delivery remain the hottest of commodities as companies look for safe hands to deliver key projects. Companies now not only need to be conscious of recruiting new talent to their business but as hiring activity has ramped up by most sectors of the marketplace, they need to lock in their key performers.

On the project front, the mega projects are now getting even bigger with one example being West Connex, where the Baird government are now planning an extra tunnel for the $16.8 Bn project! .

As the infrastructure industry continues to gather momentum across Australia, never has there been a more important time to recruit the right people to make the most of project opportunities and to ensure the company culture you have is the right one. Talent Associates have been a trusted partner for in excess of 17 years for the industry and are committed to securing high level talent for our clients not just putting bums on seats.

We would love to hear from you to hear about your requirements and what we can do to assist you.

December Infrastructure Update

Summer 2015 arrives with sunshine, optimism and excitement for the national infrastructure construction sector. Congratulations to the recent CCF Earth Award recipients with many exceptional entrants from around Australia. Activity in the infrastructure sector is really starting to heat up with many states having major projects under construction and in planning/bid stage including;

  • Victoria: Level crossing removal program, $10bn+ Melbourne Metro Tunnel, $1.2bn Tulla Widening, $1bn + CD9 project and the $4bn + Western Distributor.
  • South Australia: $450m Darlington, $185m+ O-Bahn and EOI currently for the $985m Northern Connector.
  • Tasmania: TasWater & TasRail now starting to spend. $120m Tasmanian Freight Line Upgrade.
  • NSW: West Connex, North West Rail Upgrade and a huge investment in rail & road projects with too many to list!
  • QLD: QGC further $1.7bn investment in LNG, $650m Kingsford Smith Drive, $1.6bn Toowoomba Second Range Crossing (TSRC) and $1.13bn Caloundra to Sunshine Motorway.

Talent Associates recently attended the AusRail Conference & Exhibition held in Melbourne, which was the largest gathering of rail organisations and decision makers ever assembled in Australasia with over 400 exhibitors, 90 technical forums and in excess of 1,000 delegates. The rail industry in Australia is looking very exciting over the next 10 years.

Talent Associates are seeing a huge increase in demand for high quality staff, with many of our clients having strong work books and predicting big things in 2016. Project Managers continue to be in very high demand as are high quality forepersons/supervisors.