The industry moving forward
Predicted largest growth areas in the next 5-10 years
Automation and residential building/fit-outs were both tied at 38.10% and seen as the equally largest growth areas predicted for the future, with do-it-yourself coming in at 34.60%. These results and predictions were echoed by both business owners and employees, who generally shared the same view that these segments are likely the main areas for growth moving forward.
Those who classed themselves as employees rather than business owners, saw more scope for growth in apartment building work and commercial building/fitouts than what was perceived by business owners.
Main industries moving forward
It is no surprise that automation is one of the predicted growth sectors, with the importance of cost reductions in the production process starting to come to the fore across many industries. Machinery companies, as well as software providers, are developing new ways of bringing more automation to the production process for the joinery industry. As automation becomes more prevalent, the industry should expect to see an increase in efficiency, speed, safety, consistency, complexity, and capacity as well as other on-flowing positive effects.
An increase in automation will likely also see a reduction in the need for highly skilled workers, meaning that businesses can scale up their workforce without having to rely on being able to find workers who carry relevant trade qualifications and experience. This reliance on skilled workers is raised later in the report as a future concern for respondents, with a clear skills shortage becoming evident within the industry.
Renovations and building fit-outs was also considered by respondents to be a comparatively strong sector of the industry moving forward. Future growth in this sector looks towards growing markets for business as opposed to new technology development. One possible reason that this sector is considered by respondents as being a strong area for growth could be the historically low interest rate which Australia is experiencing at the moment. With a low cost to borrowing money, the affordability for consumers to lend in order to complete renovations could see this sector grow.
Interestingly, the historic pattern of new home building in Australia will work in favour of demand for home renovations. More new detached houses were built in Australia in the late 1980s than at any other time – either before or since. A disproportionately large portion of home renovations demand tends to be concentrated in detached houses of this vintage, paving the way for a possible influx of renovations over the next few years.
Do-it-yourself makes up the third-highest on the expected future growth list. DIY growth is attributed to the exposure the consumer market is having with Do-it-yourself or home renovations shows like ‘The Block’.
These shows are fuelling and empowering the consumer market to experiment with home renovations with the added benefits of reducing labour components/cost from trade professionals. Many businesses are adopting and creating new business models to cater to this increasing sector of consumers wanting to do-it-yourself.
* taken from the National Joinery Industry Report 2020