Throughout 2020, Victoria gradually fell behind their neighbouring states as far as flattening the curve. On October 16th, Melbourne marked a notorious milestone; surpassing 100 days of “stay-at-home” restrictions. It’s fair to say, Melburnians have been through a lot; psychologically, socially, emotionally & financially.
Amongst the 6.3 million affected Victorians, our trade industry workers have experienced a rollercoaster 2020. It seemed as though with every next stage of restrictions enacted, tradies’ jobs were affected in one way or another. From drastic onsite downsizing to restrictive social rulings; Victorian tradies were constantly required to adapt.
With most states by October maintaining consistently zero new cases day after day, Victoria finally began to see the light at the end of the tunnel. From mid-October to much relief, Victoria’s daily active case numbers began plummeting. With all eyes on Victoria’s premier Daniel Andrews, businesses will be allowed to reopen from early November. With Victoria’s economy slowly rising from the ashes, this may rejuvenate the lives of tradies around the state. However, with Victoria’s construction sector drastically impacted by the state’s second lockdown – employment down 7% – it’s likely to be a slow and challenging return for the trade industry.
On a positive note, there have been other sectors across the country who have begun to recover since their re-opening. This gives the industry hope; it is anticipated the recovery period for the construction sector could still be a long journey ahead.
The $680m program announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison in June gives eligible applicants the opportunity to build or renovate a home, with financial incentives from the government. This program hopes to inject life back into the industry, in the hope of creating new jobs for tradies across the country.
How quickly Melbourne’s tradies will start returning to work is hard to measure. However, with restrictions expected to ease by November, thousands of people will be heading back to work before Christmas. In the construction and building sectors, the government will require tradies to continue practising social distancing, wearing face masks, good hygiene practices, creating workforce bubbles and regular health check-ups with supervisors.
At this stage, no one knows the precise date as to when Victoria will reach COVID Normal. If Victoria continues to head on a steady path, avoiding another outbreak; this will allow tradies to occupy worksites with no density quotas and an updated COVID Safe plan. As businesses around the state continue to recover, more and more jobs will open up for those affected.
Hopefully, Victorian’s have surpassed the bulk of the virus heading into Christmas.With Summer around the corner, it’s imperative that the state now get on top of their plansand head towards COVID Normal. This will allow people out of restrictions, businesses to open, and the economy to work on getting back to normal.