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NEW DATA: Tradies look to the bush as city-living takes its toll

23 August 2023

  • A new study commissioned by the Regional Australia Institute reveals 92% of metro tradies could be persuaded to move to the regions.
  • Soaring expenses and the rising cost of city living are causing tradies to consider a sea or treechange 
  • Regional Australia’s Biggest Ever Recruitment Drive is showcasing the 10,000-plus building and construction jobs on offer right across regional Australia through the ‘Move to More’ Regional Jobs Hub. 

The Regional Australia Institute (RAI), in partnership with industry bodies, business and government, is calling on city-dwellers working in the building and construction sector to consider a life beyond city-limits and help build the regions of tomorrow. 

With enhanced regional infrastructure pivotal to Australia’s growth and prosperity as migration to the regions continues to rise, new data commissioned by RAI shows that more than three in five metropolitan tradies or engineers would consider a job in the regions, with nearly a quarter (23%) saying they would definitely make the move.  

This ‘win for the regions’ comes as job dissatisfaction among city-based tradies and engineers is rife, with the rising cost of living, petrol and tolls hitting the hip-pocket hard. 

Alarmingly, nearly half of all building and construction workers (44%) reported struggles with their mental health, with one-third citing job insecurity as they feel the pipeline of work is drying up. The vast majority of city-based tradies (88%) also said they were searching for a more relaxed lifestyle/ better work-life balance. 

Among those who could be persuaded, key factors persuading city-based tradies and engineers to consider a life and career in regional Australia include a cheaper cost of living (56%), a more relaxed lifestyle (49%), shorter commute times (30%), a stronger sense of community (26%) and the opportunity to own their own business (18%). 

From engineers to electricians, builders to bricklayers, there are more than 15,000 regional jobs on offer in the building and construction sectors. As part of Regional Australia’s Biggest Ever Recruitment Drive, RAI is making it easier than ever for tradies to find their dream job in the regions through its ‘Move to More’ online regional jobs hub

CEO of RAI, Liz Ritchie, says while the Regional Recruitment Drive has already been a great success, the need remains for a skilled workforce to enhance regional infrastructure and build the regions of tomorrow. 

“Since we launched Regional Australia’s Biggest Ever Recruitment Drive, we have seen an overwhelming response with thousands of Australians visiting the ‘Move to More’ website to discover what life in the regions might look like for them,” Ms Ritchie said.

“To rebalance the nation and really grow regional Australia, we need enhanced regional infrastructure. And to build that infrastructure, you need a skilled and experienced workforce. 

“So if you’re a plumber who’s tired of sitting in rush hour traffic or an electrician who spends hours commuting from job to job, we’re imploring you to think beyond city limits. Regional Australia is crying out for skilled tradespeople to build the houses, hospitals and schools of tomorrow.”

Engineer Angela Durston-Ryan, who recently relocated from Melbourne to Shepparton, says regional Victoria offers a range of benefits compared to city living. 

“I was hesitant about moving my life from Melbourne, but I’m so glad I did. Life in Shepparton is more affordable, the community is fantastic, and I’ve been having so much fun,” Ms Durston-Ryan said.

“As an engineer, I’m working on several sites around town, all of which are just two minutes from home. There is no rush hour commute and I have more time to do the things I love, like hanging out with my partner and walking my dog.”
To find where your career could take you, visit the ’Move to More’ website: https://movetomore.com.au/living-in-regional-australia/jobs/.

*YouGov survey of 500 city-based tradespeople working in a capital city. Fieldwork was undertaken between 25th July – 2nd August 2023. The survey was carried out online. 

For media enquiries contact:
Madeleine Hanley
Porter Novelli
Ph: 0423 366 918
E: [email protected] 

Lydia Bilton
Porter Novelli
Ph: 0466 624 420
E: [email protected]