Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash

The jobs market for building services is running hot according to specialist building services recruiter Sarah Wells from Swell Talent Services.

She told The Fifth Estate that businesses are hiring – mainly senior level engineers – but there’s a shortage of candidates.

Candidates are still wary of taking on a new role where they are vulnerable to job losses if business drops off again. There’s also no overseas candidates who are often happy to take shorter term contracts, Wells says.

Wells says the demand from clients is partly driven by companies needing to backfill roles from redundancies made during the pandemic as well as companies looking to grow teams in response to new work coming in.

“It’s different reasons, business to business.”

She also says that sustainability-related roles have increased tenfold.

“It seems to be more of a core discipline rather than an add on, it’s starting to become more dominant in the market.”

In the general job market, the chatter on Tuesday morning at Sean Kidney’s Green finance Forum at Ashurst’s digs at 5 Martin Place in Sydney was around some interesting headwinds potentially on the way thanks to the dearth of cheap unskilled labour.

No migrants or students willing to work for the commonly low-ish rates could be causing problems. And locals aren’t interested. Outfits like Justin Hemmes’ Merivale are struggling at half capacity, we heard, and he’s seeing government ministers to see if they can change the dynamics.

So far no-one quite knows what to do about it, apparently. We can think of one answer: pay more. But that might not be the answer some bosses are looking for. Nor the RBA who’s promised not to raise interest rates for a few years. Watch the government start to relax immigration laws soon. And then watch the property market.

Job movements

Ehssan Veiszadeh has left his post in a senior strategy role for the NSW Premier to join Committee for Sydney, an independent urban policy think tank.

He will join the organisation, headed by Gabriel Metcalf, as deputy chief executive officer and director of strategy at the end of May.

Ehssan Veiszadeh Via Twitter @ehssanv

Veiszadeh has big shoes to fill of former deputy CEO, Eamon Waterford, who recently left for a new role as chief advisor for Investment NSW.

Sophie Whittakers has jumped from Lucent, the developer behind several sustainable apartment projects, to Melbourne-based architecture studio Austin Maynard Architects.

The studio designs residential, retail and commercial buildings and has a similar ethos around sustainability and is designing one of the buildings for the Nightingale Village in Melbourne’s Brunswick.

Whittakers will join the studio as general manager.

Bonnie Rose has joined the sustainability team at Cromwell Property Group as a sustainability officer. She will join the property company’s Brisbane based sustainability team from a range of professional backgrounds

The company has also promoted David Deller to sustainability manager – property services. The role will be a conduit between the sustainability team and the property services team, with a key focus on providing technical support to the facilities and asset managers relating to building efficiency and monitoring the energy and water consumption data for each property.

And in catch up news it emerges BlackRock has appointed Emily Woodland and Geir Espeskog as co-heads of BlackRock Sustainable Investing for Asia Pacific, based in Singapore.

Woodland hails from AMP Capital, where she was head of sustainable investment, and heading up ESG public market fund range. According to Financial Standard, Woodland resigned from AMP Capital in August of last year “amid the group’s sexual harassment allegations” nd she was previously with UBS.

Espeskog is an internal appointment for the fund manager.

Our pick of the jobs

There are some interesting roles going in sustainability-related building services and engineering companies.

Stantec is looking for a senior sustainability consultant to join its growing Brisbane team.

Arcadis is putting out its feelers for a Principal Environment Consultant to lead a range of projects in Victoria.

Laing O’Rourke is on the hunt for a sustainability advisor for a major infrastructure project in Perth, WA.