An $8 billion problem for construction

The Construction Industry Culture Taskforce (CICT) today announces the release of The Cost of Doing Nothing – a major report demonstrating urgent change is needed to address cultural issues in the construction industry which are costing the Australian economy close to $8 billion each year.

The cost of doing nothing is costing us all

The report, by BIS Oxford Economics, quantifies the economic impact of what many working with or for the construction industry already know – for too many in our industry, the work and work hours are excessive and unhealthy, stress levels and suicide rates are amongst the highest in the country, and we are lagging behind other industries in creating diverse and inclusive workplaces.

A better construction industry is in all our interests

Construction can be a tough industry to work in, and the pressures will continue to ramp up in the future. Australia has the largest pipeline of construction and infrastructure work in its history – worth an estimated $150 billion by 2030 – and the industry is working harder than ever to deliver this new infrastructure for the benefit of all Australians. By 2023, the industry will need to fill more than 100,000 additional jobs to support this pipeline.

While there has been good progress made by industry to make construction a desirable industry for a diverse workforce, the Cost of Doing Nothing shows we need urgent, coordinated change to improve our culture, and the lives of our workers. Unless we act quickly, we will place our people and our projects at risk.

Building a stronger construction industry

The Construction Industry Culture Taskforce (CICT) is working to improve the workplace experience for employees in the construction sector, enhance productivity and improve project delivery.

The CICT is a joint initiative of the Australian Constructors Association, the Governments of New South Wales and Victoria and leaders from industry and academia. Since 2018, we have been working to develop a new, industry Culture Standard – an evidence-based framework to lift the productivity and performance of construction by addressing the major issues holding back our industry – excessive work hours and fatigue, poor mental health, and failure to attract and retain a diverse workforce.

We know that delivering culture change will happen faster and be more effective if the industry does it together in partnership with clients, contractors and supply chain. The Culture Standard will establish a standard approach with improved practices for all members of the industry to meet.

Get Involved

Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll be embarking on widespread consultation on the Culture Standard with industry participants and stakeholders. The Culture Standard is expected to be finalised by the end of this year. Implementation pilots are due to start in NSW and Victoria in 2022, with results to be shared with all jurisdictions to support a national approach to these issues.

In the meantime, you can get involved by taking 2 simple actions:

  1. Find out more about the Cost of Doing Nothing
  2. Follow us on LinkedIn