Building challenges are starting to ease, but that doesn't mean you'll be able to find a tradie

For more than two years, Colleen has been stuck in construction purgatory. She has the land, finances and contract to build — but finding tradies who can do the work is

another story entirely. "I sold my property in December 2020 and signed the contract for the house around the same time," she says. "I've only got a roof on the top

floor. They haven't even done the back." At first, a shortage in bricklayers set the project back by "about seven months". Now it's a lack of "roof carpenters and chippies"

that's sent timelines spiralling. Unable to get clear answers as to when her new home will be complete, the Perth-based FIFO worker has resigned herself to staying in her

friend's garage, where she's been living since her build began. Amid an acute national shortage of skilled labour, Colleen is far from alone.Your quick guide What's

causing labour shortages? While the loss of international workers during the pandemic exacerbated Australia's skills shortage, industry and advocacy groups say too few people are

completing apprenticeships to meet forecast growth and replacement long-term. What trades are in the most demand? An acute shortage of bricklayers, carpenters and roofers

was reported last year, but Master Builders Australia says demand remains high across all trades.Share your story Have you faced challenges while trying to build a house

recently? We want to hear from you. Follow the link to our cost of living callout.How did we get here? The loss of international workers during the global pandemic has

brought Australia's labour and skill shortage into focus.