New CSQ campaign sparks construction conversations

New CSQ campaign sparks construction conversations
Jay – one of four ‘young guns’ profiled on the Construction Pathways website. (Image: Supplied by Construction Skills Queensland)

Construction Skills Queensland (CSQ) is spearheading a statewide campaign to showcase the growing trend of young people opting for careers in construction.

As part of the campaign, bright billboards have been strategically positioned near high schools and busy traffic areas across the Sunshine State, conveying the message: “Clever Queenslanders are choosing pathways into construction”.

The billboards feature Jay – one of four ‘young guns’ profiled on the Construction Pathways website. While Jay (26), Ashleigh (27), Kaitlyn (30) and Harry (20) each have unique stories, their collective message remains consistent: construction work may not be easy, but the rewards can be huge.

The CSQ Construction Pathways project aims to facilitate the entry of more people into the construction industry. Recent campaigns, including the billboards, have targeted not only young people but also aimed to engage their parents. Radio advertising encourages parents to recognise that university after school is not the only pathway to success, urging them to ‘rewrite the script’ on what constitutes smart career choices for their children.

Geoff Clare, CEO of CSQ, emphasised that these campaigns are designed to spark conversations around family dinner tables. “Our research told us that young people do still feel pressure from family and schools to choose a university pathway after school, so we are looking to unwind outdated views of careers in construction,” said Clare. “The radio advertising is getting excellent cut-through, and we are receiving an ongoing stream of positive feedback from listeners and stakeholders.”

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When the radio campaign launched in November 2023, it featured witty scripts that challenged the traditional university/ATAR fixation, extolling the benefits of ‘earning while learning’ and avoiding student debt.

The CSQ ‘ATAR Schmaytar’ campaign received coverage in The Australian and on ABC News radio, sparking discussions on Sydney breakfast radio and parenting podcasts – succeeding as a conversation starter.

“We are also delivering youth-focused messaging through TikTok,” said Clare. “Adding in the billboards means this is [a] real wraparound approach, where we hope to spark conversations in cars on the way to school and around dinner tables.”

“The more awareness we can raise around the opportunities in the industry, the more we can support new entrants choosing construction for themselves.”

All advertising directs people to the Construction Pathways website, which provides information on the many jobs and pathways into the construction industry, from apprenticeships and traineeships to university courses and pre-trade programs.

“When we ask people to name jobs in the construction industry, they generally only think of traditional trades like carpentry, plumbing and electrical,” said Clare. “But, as we share on the website, there are over 70 different jobs, catering for all kinds of skills and interests.”

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