Prefab building company to cut outsourcing, bring jobs to Australia

By @shauryaarya1 on
Prefab homes
New prefabricated homes are seen in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Yitzhar, near Nablus May 7, 2014. Reuters/Ronen Zvulun

Prefabricated building company Arkistruct, based in Brisbane, has announced it will be supporting local manufacturing by bringing back its business to Australia. Arkistruct is shifting its business by having its equipment shipped from a factory in China that developed its prefabricated panels.

The company plans to establish its own manufacturing operation in Brisbane. The growing demand for prefabricated homes is what the company has based its decision on. Within the next 10 years, the growth in prefabricated homes could account for 10 percent of the market.

Managing director Daniel McGrath said five shipping containers of equipment will be arriving in Brisbane from the Chinese city of Shenyang, where its previous factory was located. The equipment being brought includes spot welders and metal presses, among other things.

“We found that manufacturing in China, we did not have the amount of control we wanted,” McGrath said. “There also were problems with timing because it could take six weeks to ship the product from China. As a Queensland business person, manufacturing in China did not sit well. I’d rather look the production manager in the eye rather than talking on the phone.”

Of the total construction industry, worth $150 billion, the Australian prefabricated building market accounts for $4.5 billion. However, the numbers are expected to increase in the coming few years. Some of Arkistruct’s clientele constitutes of retail customers, developers, construction companies, architects and community housing providers.

Among other factors, the increasing demand for prefabricated homes was largely being influenced by growing cost of building, lowering of the number of skilled tradespeople and the requirement for better use of land, according to McGrath. He added that construction costs were also increasing due to the decline in number of young tradespeople.

In 1992, construction workers of age 55 years and above accounted for 8 percent of full-time employees in Queensland. The same number for 2014 stood at 14.2 percent. Prefabricated buildings can be built in backyards and small lots, because of which they have greater logistical benefits.

Arkistruct announced its plans as 1,000 construction jobs are expected to be created in Western Australia by the building of Rio Tinto’s Silvergrass, West Angeles and Yandicoogina mines. Silvergrass, the mining giant’s 16th mine in Pilbara, is expected to create 500 jobs. Construction at the site has stepped up since the start of 2017. Meanwhile, a new deposit at the West Angeles mine, which has neared its completion, will have a workforce of 120 people. The projects to maintain production at the Yandicoogina mine will create opportunities of 470 jobs.


Source: YouTube/ABS-CBN News

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