A Queensland government scheme offering up to 1000 qualified tradespeople $1750 to move to the state has reportedly attracted 12 applicants to date, reflecting the extremely tight jobs market for tradies nationwide.
The Courier Mail reports the state’s Tradies in Paradise scheme, first unveiled in April, has fallen considerably short of its goals.
The scheme was designed to bolster the state’s tradie workforce after the devastating floods which impacted southeast Queensland in March and early April.
Carpenters, electricians and plumbers number among the tradespeople offered a $1750 relocation fee under the scheme, along with building professionals like architects, planners and surveyors.
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To qualify for the grant, workers from interstate are required to complete at least eight weeks of work on flood reconstruction efforts.
Promotional materials also highlight the future pipeline of work provided by Brisbane’s 2032 hosting of the Olympic and Paralympic games.
“Applications close at 4pm, November 30, 2022, or until 1000 places have been filled (whichever is earlier),” a state government website states.
The program is seemingly some way from both of those end-points.
Citing a spokesperson from the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training, the Courier Mail stated some 856 people expressed their interest, but just 12 people listed their name to move under the scheme.
The Department was unable to provide information on how many tradies have actually completed the move.
While the Queensland government is reportedly considering its marketing options, factors external to the Tradies in Paradise scheme can be blamed for the low sign-up numbers.
Qualified tradespeople are among the most in-demand workers in the country, thanks to the pandemic-era surge in construction jobs and the deficit of migrant workers caused by years of border closures.
At the same time, surging prices for raw materials has pushed many constructors to the brink of insolvency, and in some high-profile cases, into business failure.
“It’s good to know we are not seeing any signs of a freefall, but finding the additional materials and trades to complete all this work will be a challenge,” Master Builders Queensland CEO Paul Bidwell said last month.