Looking at the Valuable Resource that is Water

rain
Source: wearechange.org

We all know that water is one of our most valuable resources but it is startling to hear that by the year 2025, 2.7 billion people around the world will face water shortages. In just 10 years, more than a third of the world’s population will be suffering the consequences of a shortage of this valuable commodity.

With Australia being the world’s driest inhabited continent, this is a particularly concerning revelation to us. We need to look at ways to address water issues now.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology confirmed that eastern Australia is experiencing yet another El Niño effect – hot days and below average rainfall, indicating that we may see the consequences of this shortage of water sooner rather than later.

Source: http://sourceable.net/australias-future-cities-water-scarce-or-water-secure/

 

What the Residential Construction Increase means to you

I couldn’t help but notice reports in the media recently about how the construction sector in Oz has been steadily increasingly. Both the residential and commercial construction industries have seen a slight but stable increase in the last month according to reports by the Australian Industry Group-Housing Industry Association Performance of Construction Index figures.

Even slow growth is still growth and with this usually comes new opportunities for members of the industry. In fact it has been estimated that within the next 3 years the construction sector would have grown so much that the current rate at which new workers are entering the industry will be insufficient to support this growth. This skills shortage may result in more migrant labourers being brought into Oz on457 VISAs because the talent pool in Oz will not be sufficient to accommodate this growth in the construction sector.

Read what this post from Abc.net.au reported on the growth:

1093926-3x2-340x227The sector has not expanded for more than three years, and Housing Industry Association chief economist Harley Dale says while the improvement is welcome, the recovery is “fragile”.

Mr Dale says residential construction in particular strengthened last month, with both house and apartment building increasing.

“It’s pleasing to see three of the four elements of construction – the fourth being engineering, which was weaker this month – have actually moved in the right direction,” he said.

But Mr Dale believes consumers and businesses are delaying spending until they know the timing of this year’s federal election, and this uncertainty is hampering the recovery.

“The sooner we can know of an election date the better,” he said.

“And I think the sooner we get some more certainty back out there, the sooner we’ve got the prospect of some further recovery coming through in areas like residential construction.”

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-07-05/construction-slump-wanes/4801336

Obviously growth in the industry will mean that those workers already in the industry will have more opportunities, more growth potential and career advancement. Basically workers will be in high demand and so will be able to find work on sites anywhere in the country.

The government has even made it easier for workers to expand their horizons by seeking work on sites in any state without having to undergo additional safety training.

Workers who have completed the White Card Construction Induction Training will be able to work in any state because this qualification is now nationally recognised.

One of the issues that must be mentioned when we speak of the growth expected in the construction industry is the need to place safety ahead of productivity every time. No matter how busy construction companies become, safety should always be the first priority. Neglecting safety is not the way to improve productivity!

For young people looking for a rewarding and fulfilling career, both male and female, the construction sector offers a wealth of opportunities and a multitude of different jobs to choose from, each with their own merits. However workers who enter the construction must first and foremost complete their basic safety training to enable them to work on a construction site in Oz.

This training in the form of the White Card is easy to obtain and can be completed right here on our site, from the comfort of your home. Visit our homepage now for more information or to register.

 

Report Indicates Construction Industry Risks Falling Behind on IT

A survey of nearly 350 chief executive officers and discussion groups recently found that the building and construction sectors in Oz risk missing out on productivity gains from new technologies such as high speed broadband as the industry it cuts down on IT spending due to challenging conditions.

Technology Investment and Productivity in Australian businesses report published by the Australian Industry Group shows that there are gaps in the capability of a wide range of businesses including those in the construction industry to fully benefit from technological developments.

This article from designbuildsource.com.au explains further:

man-screaming-on-computerWorryingly, the survey found that although the majority of businesses in the construction sector planned no change in technology investment levels in 2013, the number of respondents planning to pull back on spending this year was exactly double that planning to increase investment – giving the industry by far the lowest portion of firms planning to increase IT spending across four major sectors even as more firms pulled back on technology spending (27 per cent) than increased it (22 per cent) last year.

Across all industries, only 22 per cent say they intend to increase IT spending this year, a statistic which has Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox worried.

Willox says with less than half of all businesses surveyed confident in their ability to capitalize on the National Broadband Network despite the huge amount being invested into the project – albeit with 55 per cent of firms in building and construction being confident of their ability in this regard – there are significant concerns about the readiness of Australian business to capitalize on new technology.

“Lifting productivity is Australia’s key long-term economic challenge. There is no question Australian businesses face tremendous opportunities over the coming decades and improvements in productivity will be the foundation for taking advantage of these opportunities and driving ongoing improvements in Australia’s standard of living,” Willox says.

“But Australia is not as ready as it needs to be.”

Read more: http://designbuildsource.com.au/construction-industry-risks-falling-behind-on-it-report

Undoubtedly technological advancements can help promote and maintain safety and productivity in the construction industry.  Other technologies can also help deliver cost savings as well as for example technologies such as Building Information Modelling (BIM) which can help in cost saving and even bushfire risk assessment.

Safety professionals who use technology to record detailed observations, technology can be used to track contractor’s performance and using technology to share collected data allows safety professionals to summarize and share data with key stakeholders – including employees, management, subcontractors and customers.

Most recently technology in the form of a computer game has been introduced to promote safety among construction workers. The first-person shooter style White Card Game involves players identifying, controlling and reporting workplace hazards on a construction site without getting injured or causing the death of workmates. White Card certification is mandatory for all workers on construction sites and it has now been made into a computer game so that workers can more easily understand and relate to it. By embracing technology employers and workers in the construction industry can maximize profits, minimize injuries and make life on a construction site a lot easier.