Practitioner numbers on the rise

The building and plumbing industries continue to attract new practitioners, with a marked increase in the number of practitioners registered by the VBA in 2020/21.

There are now more registered practitioners in Victoria than there was pre-pandemic, with 67,029 total practitioners across building and plumbing.

An increase in the number of practitioners could be attributed to a range of factors, including the government stimulus for construction and media coverage about the vital role construction plays and will continue to play in Victoria’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The VBA has also taken a more prominent role in informing and attracting prospective practitioners to the building and plumbing industries through a range of pre-registration webinars, which provide a clear understanding of the requirements for registration and help address questions posed by potential applicants.

The VBA has also been encouraging practitioners to register or become licensed and we have taken enforcement action against unregistered and unlicensed practitioners.

In 2020/21, the VBA’s registration and licensing activity saw practitioner numbers increase across a range of classes.

The total number of registered or licensed plumbers increased by 1181 to 29,674, representing 4.1 per cent year-on-year growth.

It was a similar tale for natural person and company building practitioner registrations. Natural person registrations increased 3.2 per cent to 25,489, while company registrations grew 6 per cent 11,165 in 2020-21.

2020-21 Practitioner Registrations

Since 2016/17, the VBA has registered more than 2800 new builders and licensed or registered more than 1600 plumbers, testament to the appetite of Victorian workers to join the building and plumbing industries.

In the past five years, the number of new plumbers registered or licensed by the VBA has increased every year, from 298 new plumbers registered or licensed five years ago to 1181 new plumbers registered or licensed in the past year.

New building practitioner registrations have also steadily increased, with 496 new registrations five years ago to 806 new registrations in the past year.

Building surveyor numbers were maintained during 2020/21, with 701 building surveyors registered with the VBA, compared to 697 a year ago.

To promote building surveying as a career and encourage new entrants into the field, the VBA, partnering with the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority (VMIA) and Domestic Building Disputes Resolution Victoria (DBDRV) delivered the Building Surveyor Career Pathways (BSCP) program.

This followed the State Government’s announcement to fund 40 roles to train female building surveyors in local government.

Six cadets commenced the BSCP program in February 2021 and are spending six months in each organisation over an 18-month period, gaining invaluable skills and knowledge, while contributing to the vital work of each organisation.