The migrant workforce is a prominent feature in the Australian construction industry and is equivalent to approximately 24% of the industry. Out of these migrant workers, 11.8% comes from English speaking countries and 12.2% from non-English speaking background (NESB) countries. The aim of this study is to investigate the issues surrounding migrant workers within the Australian residential construction industry. A number of recent studies have shown links between the increasing migrant dominated workforce and a subsequent deterioration of safety standards and quality levels of construction trade work. The main purpose of the study is to further explore this issue, in an attempt to expand on previous research and to identify the reasons behind these trends. The methodology of the research undertaken included a case study of a NSW residential construction companies. The case study applied the theory of triangulation through a range of structured formal interviews. These interviews were carried out on a range of people occupying various roles within the construction industry including site supervisors, WH&S officers and top level management. Research findings have shown considerable challenges existing today amongst the migrant workforce. Communication barriers and cultural differences are shown to have created significant challenges with regards to the safety of migrant workers and the quality assurance related to various construction trades.
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