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Electrical services industry forecast is positive

A message from NECA Victoria Executive Director, Pawel Podolski 

It’s timely to level set where we landed after 2020 - both at a macro industry level, as well as across some of the key industry issues. 

It’s heartening to note some of the predictions from industry analysts in relation to how the Electrotechnology industry is likely to respond to a recovery. Prior to COVID, we were already seeing a structural shift with a clear rebalancing of demand between residential, commercial and industrial sectors. Obviously, there are a lot more unknowns post COVID, however, demand conditions in the Electrical Services industry are forecast to gradually strengthen - both in the short term, as well as over the next five years. Perhaps the projections are not at the optimistic levels predicted prior to the current economic recession, nevertheless the outlook is mildly positive. 

In terms of directional forecasts, demand for electrical installation and wiring work from the residential and high-rise building market is anticipated to rise, as the economy recovers from the impacts of COVID-19.  Maintenance and repair work on existing buildings, plant and structures is
also projected to support the industry’s expansion over
the next five years. 

In Victoria, with the projected growth and fast-tracking of infra-structure projects, the industry should see a return to moderate growth over the short to medium term.  So, despite the challenging year, the signs are more optimistic ahead. With this positivity, comes the duty of ensuring we are all knowledgeable of what is happening across our industry and the broader business ecosystem, such that Members can harness and maximise the potential of upcoming opportunities.

Let’s recap some of the major events this year, many of which will carry in their relevance and impact into next year.

2020 saw the initiation of several regulatory reviews around the electrical licensing regime in Victoria.  NECA has been very active in the many consultations and feedback channels, representing the voice of our industry.  

We take some pleasure at NECA in being able to bring
positive influence and protect the position of electricians
enabling them to continue in current work practices, with the implementation of Line Worker Licensing scheme. There have also been conversations about REC registration changes in Victoria. We’ve advocated on behalf of Members and the industry and worked collaboratively with relevant stakeholders to ensure that red tape is minimised for contractors. 

There has also been major changes to insolvency laws, which have been overhauled and adopt almost a US style model.  It is worth understanding how that is going to work in practice, as for some this could mean the difference between being able to navigate some short-term challenges and restructure back to success, vs having to make more drastic decisions. 

It’s also worth noting the introduction of regulation around Wage Theft which will come into effect from the 1 July 2021 and will introduce criminal penalties for employers who deliberately underpay or don’t pay their workers properly. As is understanding the implication of the introduction of Industrial Manslaughter legislation which came into effect on 1 July 2020. Certainly, something to think about proactively when ensuring your business, large or small, has the appropriate health and safety systems, processes and SWMS in place.

Protect CEO Michael Connolly explores what our data shows about employment in Victoria's electrical industry, throughout and after COVID-19 restrictions:

7 Signals of electrical industry employment in Victoria

Published Friday 18 December, 2020