The work is out there to be done and the skills are out there to do it; but tradies are struggling to find jobs and businesses are struggling to find labour. Why? This is what one-time electrician, Steve Daw, calls the ‘trade hole’:
“I’ve experienced first-hand the struggle to find reliable workers at the last minute and the consequences this can have on a small business. There have been times where I’ve had to turn down work simply because I couldn’t find the labour in a short amount of time. I’ve also known a lot of mates who have been out of work last minute and the struggles they’ve experienced because of that.”
Teaming up with a painter, roofer and tower crane operator, Steve is striving to fill this trade hole with a new virtual noticeboard, Last Minute Labour (LML) Connect. The first of its kind to hit the trade industry, this platform allows business owners to advertise extra labour, and workers to advertise last minute availability.
According to Steve, the trade and construction industry has been hit harder with unemployment because traditional job seeking websites don’t cater for the short term or last minute situations that many workers and businesses in the industry experience.
With over 1000 jobseekers and businesses already registered to LML Connect since its launch in June this year – the enormous scale of this ‘hole’ has become plain to see.
And while they don’t yet have any direct competitors – like other entrepreneurs wanting to preserve their market position – the team are not taking their popularity for granted.
Steve said “naturally competitors will pop up. But, as a brand new platform, our goal is to continue to work on the functionality of the website to ensure user experience is up to scratch. We’ve actually just carried out a customer feedback survey to get some insight into what our users think of the website and we’ve been able to take some really great recommendations on board from this – so watch this space!
“We’re also hoping to next year work on building relationships with key stakeholders in the trade and construction industry and the employment sector. We’re looking forward to what 2016 holds.”
Six months into their new venture, it’s too early to speculate on where the team might go next, but when asked whether there may be opportunities to fill similar ‘holes’ in other industries, Steve simply says “absolutely!”