Builders, developers and other professionals can find jobs online at a fraction of the cost of hiring locally.
But the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) warns that it is not a panacea to jobless Australian jobs.
“I think the best way to get people to find a job is to provide them with the right skills,” ABCC chief executive David Smith said.
“In the current economy we need more people to get work.”
The ABCC estimates there are more than 10,000 vacant Australian jobs, with more than 6,500 of them in the construction industry.
“We know that there’s a huge number of Australians who have no experience of building,” Mr Smith said, “but we know there’s also a large number of people who have great skills but who are unemployed.”
The government says there is an opportunity to create more jobs.
A new government strategy on employment is expected to be released next month.
Work and training minister Michaelia Cash said the strategy would focus on “improving the skills of our workforce, promoting vocational training and encouraging people to work in the private sector”.
It will also provide more money to support employers who create or train apprenticeships.
A $200,000 grant is the minimum the ABCC requires to recruit apprentices.
“The Government’s investment in apprenticeships and training is helping the private and public sectors to fill key skills gaps and to create jobs for the long-term,” Ms Cash said.
The ABC has been reporting on the industry’s struggles since it was established in 1999, but its report was released last month and the ABC commissioned the National Building and Mechanical Survey (NBMS) to conduct an in-depth study.
The NBMS survey showed that only 17 per cent of Australians were employed in the building industry in the 12 months to March, with the remainder unemployed.
“One of the big challenges we’re seeing in the sector right now is a lack of quality apprenticeships,” Ms Jones said.