Our people activities focus on creating a vibrant and sustainable workforce. We cover workforce diversity, skills development and education, workplace culture and skilled migration.

Striving  for Mentally Healthy Workplaces

Mentally healthy workplaces

A campaign to tackle mental health stigmas across the broader industry and promote business practices to help create thriving workplaces.

A copy of our recent research report on the importance of mentally healthy workplaces in our industry is below.

Download now

Please also visit our Mental Health Knowledge Hub - our one-stop hub of resources relevant for our industry.


End of Year Tender Deadlines Campaign

Since 2018, Consult Australia has campaigned for a tender 'blackout' or an extension of three-weeks to tender deadlines over the end-of-year break.

Our initiative was first piloted in Queensland, and resulted in positive changes to the government's tender policy.

In 2019 we launched the initiative as a nationwide campaign, and in 2020 we scaled up further to target over 90 procuring departments and agencies across the country.



Strengthening our talent pipeline

A campaign to increase the pipeline of talent for our industry by promoting improvements to STEM education, advocating for a demand-driven skilled migration system, and exploring the skills needed for tomorrow’s workforce.

A copy of our recent discussion paper on Australia's STEM education challenges is below.


Please also read more about our annual skills survey.

Updating ANZSCO

Consult Australia has contributed to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) consultation on the update of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO). Our submission identifies occupations requiring an update given the critical skills shortages particularly relating to engineers, scientists and architects (as highlighted by the Infrastructure Australia Infrastructure Workforce Skills Supply).

Consult Australia welcomes the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) recognition of Data Engineers as an emerging occupation in the 2022 ANZSCO update. Consult Australia will continue to monitor updates to the ANZSCO and remains committed to advocating for new and emerging occupations within our industry to be recognised.

02 June 2022

#practice #people #procurement #pipeline

National Workplace Initiative - Theory of Change and Evaluation Model

Consult Australia contributed to National Workplace Initiative's Theory of Change and Evaluation Model consultation, supporting the development of a nationally consistent approach that focusses on how systems can continue to improve from micro through to macro levels to support the health and wellbeing of Australia's workforce. However, we stressed the need for benchmark for assessment to ensure a consistent starting point. 

Read the full submission here.

9 March 2022




The findings in Infrastructure Australia's Market Capacity Report support Consult Australia's advocacy on the need for urgent action to address the systemic skills shortage being faced by industry. With record investment in infrastructure over the next five years, the report found that a peak deficit of 70,000 engineers, scientists and architects will be needed between 2022-2024 to fulfil the demand. You can read our summary of the report here

December 2021




Consult Australia is delighted to be featured in the National Mental Health Commission's Series on industry initiatives supporting mentally healthy workplacesConsult Australia has been included as one of 13 case studies demonstrating how industry is leading on mentally healthy workplaces and successfully driving positive change.  

Our work, including our paper striving for mentally healthy workplaces, our mental health working group, ambassador network and mental health knowledge hub are all championed. 

The series is being released to coincide with Psychology Week 2021, which this year explores the role psychology plays in the workplace. 

Access the series and share feedback via the National Workplace Initiative’s engagement hub


29 November 2021

#people #MentalHealthKnowledgeHub




The National Mental Health Commission has developed a Blueprint for Mentally Healthy Workplaces which 'outlines the core pillars and principles underpinning a nationally consistent approach to mentally healthy workplaces.' This is a living document that will be updated as future learnings and practices evolve. 

Consult Australia contributed a submission to the National Mental Health Commission, welcoming the Blueprint as a guiding resource for businesses striving for mentally healthy workplaces. In our submission we recommended that the Blueprint remain suggestive, not prescriptive, to promote the inclusion of alternative ideas and to ensure employer's feel empowered. 

Additionally, we recommended that the Blueprint highlight how there may be some factors outside of an employer's control that impede upon the mental health of their workers, and that is up to the ecosystem as a whole working together to support the health and wellbeing of Australia's workers.

29 November 2021

#people #MentalHealthKnowledgeHub




Temporary migration reform

Australia's migration system has received further support for reform, with the Inquiry into Temporary Migration reflecting much of Consult Australia's skilled migration advocacy.

22 September 2021





The Final Report of the Inquiry into Australia's Skilled Migration Program has been released and supports the majority of the recommendations made by Consult Australia. This includes our recommendations to increase age thresholds, reduce the complexity of the program, streamline skills lists and to rethink the levy process. See our Advocacy Wins here for more detail.

The purpose of the Inquiry was to identify ways to coordinate and streamline Australia's skilled migration program to increase effectiveness, competitiveness and accessibility. Consult Australia members rely on the skilled migration system given the workforce capacity issues in our industry. This is why in our submissions to the Inquiry we called for reform and support to benefit our members and industry. You can remind yourself of our submissions here (Part 1 and Part 2).

We now advocate for the Commonwealth Government to implement the Report's recommendations.

If you'd like to know more, contact Kristy.



Submission to ABS on emerging occupations

Our submission to the Australian Bureau of Statistics Australian and New Zealand Standard Classifications of Occupations (ANZSCO) targeted review recommends occupations within our industry that can be captured as emerging occupations, as well as occupations that should be prioritised for the next targeted review.

It is vital that occupations in our industry are contained within ANZSCO to ensure we can get policy addressing those occupations, including skilled migration and education reform. Contact Cindy to discuss this more.




2021-22 Federal Budget

See our submission to the Treasury on their 2021-22 pre-Federal budget consultation. Our people recommendations include measures to tackle skill shortages in our industry, practical skilled migration reforms, and childcare and parental leave reforms to create a more inclusive workplace.

February 2021


2021-22 Migration Program

See our submission on the framework for the permanent visa programs and the 2021-22 caps for these visa types. We call for the caps to be increased back to 190,000 visas per year, and highlight the need for a system that is more responsive to business needs. This includes a more refined approach to the application of the SAF levy and increasing the age threshold for high income earners.

February 2021


Higher Education Amendment Bill

See our submission for the Australian Senate Education and Employment Committee's inquiry on the Higher Education Support Amendment Bill (Job-Ready and Supporting Regional and Remote Students) Bill 2020.  We flag our concerns that degree types such as engineering that will receive lower overall funding per student. 

September 2020



See our submission for the Federal Treasury's consultation on the 2020-21 Budget.  We emphasis the importance of infrastructure and built environment for Australia's COVID-19 economic recovery.  Our people recommendations include a built environment workforce strategy, practical skilled migration reforms, and childcare and parental leave improvements.

August 2020


Job-Ready Graduates Package

See our submission on the Federal Department of Education, Skills and Employment's public consultation on proposed legislative changes to enact university funding reforms. Our primary concern is the proposed decline in combined overall funding per student for engineering degrees. We also request more information on the proposed National Priorities and Industry Linkage Fund. 

August 2020

note board

Skilled Migration Occupation List

See our submission on the Federal Department of Employment's 2020 consultation on skill shortages and proposed changes to the occupations included on skilled migration lists. Our response focuses on proposed changes to occupation types relevant to member firms. Our primary concern was the proposal to shift geologist from the short-term skill shortage list to the regional only list.

February 2020



See our submission on the Productivity Commission's draft mental health inquiry report. We supported the inquiry and many of the early findings. There is a strong link between employment and mental health, and we agreed that there is a growing role businesses can play. However, some related recommendations need to be explored further in the final report to ensure they are effective and consider cost impacts.

January 2020

Australia pins

2020-21 Migration Program

See our submission on the Federal Department of Home Affair's consultation on the 2020-21 Migration Program. We highlight the importance of a program that is responsive to business, and use the opportunity raise concerns with the SAF levy and the age threshold. We also encourage the department to remove barriers by re-establishing the Industry Outreach Officer Initiative.

January 2020


Senior secondary pathways review

See our submission on the COAG Education Council's consultation on senior secondary pathways into work, further education and training. Our response shared our research on STEM education challenges, and notes pathways in this space can be improved through better connections into industry. We also encouraged a focus on school career adviser knowledge gaps.

December 2019

note board


See our submission on the Victorian Royal Commission into the mental health system. Our response focused on workplace matters, and shared a copy of our recent report on the topic. An improved understanding of mental health, reduced stigmas, and an approach focused on prevention were key issues flagged.

July 2019

lady justice

Workplace sexual harassment

See our submission for the Australian Human Rights Commission's national inquiry into sexual harassment in the workplace. We supported the inquiry and focused our submission on workplace measures to eradicate sexual harassment and the importance of a positive workplace culture.

February 2019

Australia pins

2019-20 Migration Program

See our submission on the Federal Department of Home Affair's consultation on the 2019-20 Migration Program. With the prevalence of skill shortages across industry, we noted that any failure to hit the planning level cap for visas is due to access barriers in the system. As such, we again encouraged the department to focus on access barriers, particularly for SMEs, by re-establishing the Industry Outreach Officer Initiative.

January 2019

Our people policy and advocacy campaigns are member-driven through our state/territory committees and our People and Human Resources Roundtable.

Mental Health Knowledge Hub

Consult Australia’s Mental Health Knowledge Hub provides a one-stop shop for a range of relevant materials to help member firms to create mentally healthy workplaces. The benefits of mentally healthy workplaces are significant – employees feel more empowered to perform at a high-level and comfortably balance work into a healthy life, and thriving organisations can drive the performance of a workplace to deliver a competitive edge.



Champions of Change


Consult Australia Champions of Change is a network of 13 Chief Executives and Managing Directors working collaboratively to increase the representation and influence of women within our firms and across the built environment. We hold ourselves and each other to account through a rigorous, measurable, best practice approach.

The 2020 Progress Report is now available!


More information

For more information about our people work, please contact Consult Australia at