Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

Engineers worried about the state of the job market in Australia will be relieved to know job vacancies are expected to pick up again after they declined in 2019. 

A weak economy in 2019 was to blame, according to a report from Engineers Australia, with the economy expected to recover throughout 2020.

And if the local hardware and building suppliers are giving out anecdotal hints that business is a bit of the slow side, it looks like the data backs this up. Tradies are feeling the pinch, with 60 per cent of trade businesses struggling with cashflow and achieving a healthy profit margin, according to research from business coaching organisation The Game Changers.

As many as 80 per cent of trades in a survey said the cost of compliance was of concern, with almost 30 per cent very concerned. Around 78 per cent were worried about a slump in demand for their services, a third of whom were very concerned.

But 63 per cent are optimistic that things will turn around and they will be in better financial shape in the next 12 months.

Family run trade businesses are still common, with around half of trade business owners employing one of more family members.

But spouses of builders, carpenters, electricians and plumbers are being kept out of the loop on business decisions, with only one in 10 business owners consulted with their spouse on all or most business decisions.


Westfield’s Scentre Group has a new sustainability boss, Colin Roberts, who replaces Benjamine Duncan, now head of sustainability at University of Technology Sydney.

Roberts, who joined in November as national environmental manager, was educated at the University of the West of Scotland and at the University of Stirling, has spent a decade working for Caltex, primarily in sustainability roles. He previously worked with Coffee International as national portfolio manager oil and gas.

Duncan was at the group for just over four years having hailed from Ernst & Young and RMS Bird Cameron.

It’s an interesting time for the company and the shopping centre industry, which has come under scrutiny for its reluctance to become part of the Commercial Buildings Disclosure program, despite the program’s success in reducing emissions and saving money for the office sector and its expansion to a range of other sectors.

But things could be changing.

Scentre’s sustainability report 2018 claims the shopping centre behemoth, which it’s understood controls around 40 per cent of total floor area in the sector nationally, aims to achieve a 4.5 star NABERS energy rating across its retail property space by 2025, and 5 star NABERS average across its commercial space by the same date.

Chief executive officer Peter Allen is quoted in the report as saying that in 2018 the group had reduced its emissions intensity by 25 per cent, ahead of its target year of 2025.

“We have updated this target to reduce emissions intensity by 35 per cent by 2025 portfolio-wide compared with our 2009 baseline.”

In more jobs news

Amelia Young has been promoted to Wilderness Society’s national campaign director after a search for this high level role. Young has campaigned to protect Victoria’s forests since 2012 working for the Victorian campaigns team, and had a hand in the Victorian government’s decision to ban the logging of old-growth forests.

She’s also campaigned for Environment Victoria on Healthy Rivers.

Brendan McRandle is the new chief executive officer of the $100 million National Water Grid Authority, which was set up last year in a bid to secure Australia’s inland water supply. He’s also the deputy secretary of the Water Group at the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development.

Before water, McRandle was involved in Sydney’s second airport in western Sydney. He’s also been the executive director of Aviation and Airports Division within the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities.

After almost five years at Swinburne, Professor Aleksandar Subic is returning to RMIT as its deputy vice-chancellor (science, engineering, health) and vice president (digital innovation). He was at RMIT for almost 18 years before Swinburne, including three years as dean of engineering.

He was the deputy vice-chancellor (research and enterprise) at Swinburne.

James Redwood has joined GHD as technical director – building engineer, based in Adelaide. He previously worked at construction company Hansen Yuncken, where he was involved with the $1.85 billion new Royal Adelaide Hospital project.

 Robert Pearce has made the leap from Savills to Frasers Property Australia. He will work in the company’s Hong Kong office as the international sales director.

The Sydney Olympic Park Authority (SOPA), responsible for the events precinct built for the Sydney 2000 Olympic & Paralympic Games, has been scrapped and its functions subsumed by the New South Wales Department of Planning, Industry and Environment.

SOPA chief executive officer Charles Moore will finish up in his role this week, as will the board.

Rumour has it that Landcom could be next state-owned organisation to merge with NSW DPIW, according to The Australian.

Glenn Thompson has been picked as a new director at AustralianSuper’s new director. He’s been the Assistant National Secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union since 2003.

He’s also a member of the AustralianSuper’s Risk and Compliance Committee.

Our pick of the jobs

City of Sydney wants someone to oversee the Green Square urban renewal project.

Wyndham City Council is on the hunt for a coordinator city landscapes and environment to planning Council’s landscape design and open space. The role will be based in Werribee.

Willoughby City Council on Sydney’s north shore is looking for a sustainability & waste education officer.

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