The Australian Government has today announced a tripartite National Construction Industry Forum to drive the transformation of Australia’s most male-dominated industry, construction.

The group will comprise representatives from government, unions and business, including the Australian Constructors Association.

Australian Constructors Association CEO Jon Davies said this is an exciting opportunity for the industry to leave behind the baggage of history.

“Government, industry and unions have an opportunity to build a stronger, more sustainable construction industry and we need to grasp it with both hands,” said Mr Davies.

“This is our opportunity to work together to transform, as other sectors have, so we can emerge as a worldwide leader and industry of choice for future generations of workers.”

A major part of the journey will be to address the industry’s poor culture.

“The culture of the industry will be front and centre,” said Mr Davies.

“Progress will only be achieved if everyone works together in a respectful, trustful and collaborative manner.”

With a focus on improving the sustainability of the industry, the group’s priorities are to tackle the cultural issues that are preventing women from joining the workforce, address the industry’s poor mental health, develop industry capability and capacity and improve productivity.

“A happy workforce is a productive workforce and improvements in culture will go a long way in easing the capacity constraints facing today’s constrained labour market,” said Mr Davies.

“If we could just halve the gap in productivity growth between construction and other major industries, we could be saving $15 billion annually and, importantly, significantly reduce the number of resources needed to deliver the record pipeline of work.

“We are ready to work collaboratively together to address the significant issues facing our industry and we applaud the Federal Government for leading the way.”