Construction engineers supervising progress of construction project stand on new concrete floor top roof and crane background

Despite the hardship and uncertainty of the pandemic, four out of five Australians said they were optimistic about their next five years of employment —  and among the most optimistic were construction workers.

The ADP research group’s, People at Work 2021: A Global Workforce View report found that 85 per cent of Aussie construction workers said they were optimistic, as did the same percentage of IT/telecoms workers. 

Construction workers could have plenty of reasons to smile with stimulus schemes such as the federal government’s HomeBuilder helping prop up jobs and create mini-booms in the industry.

Australia’s handling of the pandemic and resulting low case rates of Covid have also helped the unemployment rate return to near pre-pandemic levels below six per cent, leading 42 per cent of Australian workers to say they were extremely or very confident that they could find another job with better pay.

The report surveyed 32,000 workers in 17 countries to compare the effects of the pandemic on workers and found a stark difference in optimism between regions, with the Asia Pacific leading the pack.

Business news 

An example of optimism was last week’s announcement that the Macquarie Group would buy Bingo Industries in a deal valuing the company at about $2.3 billion subject to shareholder approval. A sign perhaps more aligned to the urgent need for solutions to our garbage and waste problem than the strength of the economy alone.

At the smaller scale was HydroChem’s acquisition of Cairns based water treatment company, Maxwells H20 Services this week, following the purchase of leading Tasmanian service provider DM Chemicals in 2018.

Maxwell’s, owned by Chris Harris and Keith Robinson, was a “strategic investment” for the company’s plans to expand further into far North Queensland. 

“HydroChem has had a reasonable foothold in FNQ for a number of years,” said the company’s strategic director Nick Duncan. He said what set HydroChem apart from other suitors was that “water treatment is our business, not our sideline.”

The move will grow the company’s 200 plus staff including more than 150 technicians, by just three, with the imminent retirement of Keith Robinson from Maxwells, Mr Harris staying on and appointment of a new staff member expected soon.

The company’s core business is maintenance of cooling towers plus process. 

Job Movements

Real estate giants Investa announced Sonya Ku will be their new senior manager, asset performance.

The qualified environmental scientist brings plenty of experience to the job, having formerly served as sustainability manager at Mirvac and technical manager at the Green Building Council of Australia where she helped develop six Green Star Rating Tools.

Rob Howells will be taking over as managing director of Napier & Blakely following the stepping down of Alastair Walker and Peter Frith.

Mr Frith and Mr Walker will continue as board members at the property, development and sustainability consultancy firm, and assist in the rollout of its post-covid strategy. 

Mr Howells had been with the firm for 16 years and formerly was national director of transaction and asset advisory group. 

Last week we reported that Kathy Mac Dermott will be stepping down from her role as chief executive of the Property Council in July. Soon after we published, the organisation announced Jane Fitzgerald will be taking over the position. 

Ms Fitzgerald comes from past senior executive roles in the federal and NSW governments and has been NSW executive director at the property Council for the past five years. 

Finally, geospatial data company, Geoscape Australia announced Dean Capobianco as its new chief executive. Geoscape’s data is used by companies in architecture, engineering and construction.

Mr Capobianco is a former Olympic sprinter and tech industry veteran and will help the company meet its expectation of being the “de facto standard for national-scale location data in Australia.”

Our pick of the jobs

For those not afraid of the big leagues, EY is looking for a senior consultant and manager to join their Climate Change and Sustainability Services team, the biggest sustainability consulting team in Oceania, where Emma Herd was recently announced as partner, climate change and sustainability, after six years as chief executive officer of the Investor Group on Climate Change.

See article here

And speaking of the big consultants, PwC is looking for a climate change manager to “help Australian businesses, not-for-profits and governments manage the risks and opportunities presented by climate change.”

While, international engineering firm Aurecon is looking for a sustainability and climate change specialist, working with a team of similarly geared people to help manage projects and client risk. And Cundall has posted a couple of new roles it wants to fill on our jobs ads. Check them out and tell them where you saw the ad when you apply!

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