The Tradies of Tomorrow

The Tradies of Tomorrow

Construction IndustryConstruction Industry

Trades have undergone huge shifts in the last few years, making predicting what’s to come difficult for many business owners.


However, there are ways to look at the direction our industry will take in the decade ahead. In a recent report, three research groups aimed to provide a snapshot of what’s to come – and why – by surveying over 1,000 tradies across Australia in a variety of fields, age groups and locations.


Let’s take a look at how your business might prepare for 2034.

The industry of the past and present

Tradies have played a huge part in the Australian economy for decades. Back in 2022, 18% of all small businesses were registered for construction and trades – that’s around 800,000 employers. 


However, the market looks very different in 2024. After the pandemic, the industry has faced rising business costs, a difficult labour market, and a drying-up of qualified apprentices.


While it’s not all doom and gloom – there are plenty of new infrastructure and development projects being planned for communities across the country – executing plans is proving to be the challenge.


The solution will still be tradies, but as the report warns: “the she’ll-be-right attitude that got us here won’t get us there.” So, what needs to change?

The industry of 2034

Ten years might not seem long to some, but in industry terms, it’s enough time for the face of trades to change completely.


By 2034, Baby Boomers will have retired, passing on their “old guard” role to Gen X’ers who themselves will be reaching the last years of their careers.


The industry will be dominated by Millennials and Gen Z, taking 75% of all jobs and shaking up how businesses are run as the new leaders and entrepreneurs.


You can already see some of these changes, with businesses making bets on changing on-the-job culture, or committing to developing niche skillsets and services. It’s these behaviours emerging now that show where things are heading next.

Five trends to watch

Limitless learning

Next-gen tradies will take advantage of a range of evolving resources. Look into business coaches, specialist partners, AI, social networks and adjacent industries as ways to get ahead.


Values reboot

Future tradies need to be resilient, adaptable and empathetic. Find ways to build trust, focus and respect to create strong connections between different generations and backgrounds.


Sustainable building

Tradespeople know best about sustainable, practical building.  Adapting existing properties, reducing waste and energy use, and advising homeowners will only become a larger part of the job.


Tradie hospitality

Reputation matters. Next-gen trades are polished, professional service providers, so make every client interaction count towards developing a lifelong working relationship.


Magnetic culture

Creating a positive team culture and helping people grow counts for a lot. Sharing your business culture on social media can mean the pick of the labour market proactively comes to you.


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