Carpentry Australia’s Advocacy and Support Shines at Inside Building and Construction Expo 2023

Carpentry Australia, the authoritative voice of the Australian carpentry sector, played a prominent role in the esteemed Inside Building and Construction Expo 2023. This significant event united experts, industry leaders, and stakeholders to address pressing issues in the construction sector. Carpentry Australia, driven by its mission to represent its members and the broader national community, convened two insightful panels, each focused on pivotal challenges and innovative solutions within the carpentry field.


Panel 1: “Balancing the Scales: Recruitment vs. Retention in Carpentry”

Under the guidance of Jake McArthur, CEO of Carpentry Australia, the first panel set the stage for a thought-provoking dialogue on the intricate balance between recruitment and retention in carpentry. Jake, renowned for his unwavering commitment to the trade, introduced critical concerns:

  • The concerning attrition rates among seasoned carpenters.
  • The pressing issue of an aging workforce.
  • Low completion rates of apprentices, with a spotlight on mental health factors.

The panel featured distinguished professionals:

  1. Nathan Quinn, Head of Development, Carpentry Australia.
  2. Jarrod Stewart, Government and Policy Advisor.
  3. Stefan Kazakis, Business Mentor, Carpentry Australia.
  4. Beau Bugeja, Director of Beaumade Builds.
  5. Lance Picioane, CEO of the Never Alone Foundation.

Each panelist brought a unique perspective to the table, contributing to a vibrant and enlightening discussion. Jarrod Stewart emphasized the vital role of high-level policy in addressing industry challenges, advocating for a holistic approach.

Stefan Kazakis delved into the multifaceted challenges that carpenters face in running their businesses, navigating issues such as escalating product costs and a competitive marketplace. He shared invaluable insights from Carpentry Australia’s business mentoring program.

Beau Bugeja shared his personal journey, underscoring the transformative role mentorship played in his career. He attributed his success to Stefan and Carpentry Australia’s unwavering support during challenging times.

Lance Picioane illuminated the pressing issue of mental health within the industry, showcasing the powerful partnership between Carpentry Australia and the Never Alone Foundation in addressing this critical aspect.

The enthusiastic audience actively participated, posing questions and seeking clarifications, thereby enhancing the richness of the discussion.

Jake McArthur brought the panel to a close by summarizing key takeaways and extending gratitude to the panelists and the audience for their invaluable contributions.


Panel 2: “Addressing the Worker Shortage”

The second panel focused on the pressing challenge of addressing the workforce shortage in the carpentry sector. Esteemed panelists included:

  1. Ken Holden, General Manager of Dincel Installation.
  2. Craig Robertson, CEO of Victorian Skills Authority.
  3. Erwin Lagura, Director of the National Skills Plan.
  4. Jake McArthur, CEO of Carpentry Australia.
  5. Nathan Quinn, Head of Development, Carpentry Australia.

This panel delved into several crucial topics:

  • Innovative strategies and programs for retaining talent in the trades.
  • The pivotal role of apprenticeships and the long-term trends in apprenticeship numbers.
  • Identifying new sources of skilled workers, including migration and promoting inclusivity.
  • The transformative impact of technology in addressing worker shortages.
  • The panel discussion resonated profoundly with the audience, leading to numerous connections with Carpentry Australia as attendees expressed their interest in exploring potential collaborations and extending their support to the cause.

Carpentry Australia’s active participation in the Inside Building and Construction Expo 2023 was a resounding success, symbolising our commitment to addressing industry challenges and championing the interests of our members and the broader national community. The expo served as an invaluable platform for sharing insights, sparking essential conversations, and propelling positive change within the industry. Carpentry Australia remains steadfastly at the forefront of shaping the future of carpentry in Australia, advocating for excellence, inclusivity, and innovation, which aligns seamlessly with their core pillar of support and advocacy.