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Market forces push up wages in Oz

Trade wages in Australia have gone up by as much as 30% in the past few weeks as recruiters try to find workers to fill vacancies, according to a report in the Queensland Sunday Mail.

Australia - Trade wages in Australia have gone up by as much as 30% in the past few weeks as recruiters try to find workers to fill vacancies, according to a report in the Queensland Sunday Mail.

Queensland Master Builders Association report hourly rates for trades-people have doubled in the past 18 months from US$14.4-18 per hour to as much as US$36. Site supervisors get up to US$72,000 a year. A Federal Government skills shortage list says carpenters, plumbers and bricklayers are among the most sought-after workers.

Master Builders’ director Graham Cuthbert said builders were cutting back because they could not get extra workers. “It's getting to the stage where ‘desperate’ is not an overstatement,” he said. “In an ordinary market, houses that would take six weeks to finish are taking up to a year.”

Industry advisory body Construction Training Queensland operations manager Peter Roebig said as older tradesmen retired they were not being replaced. “If we don't turn this around, by 2006 to 2010 we will be importing labour,” he said.

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