A Master Builders Victoria-led (MBV) delegation has left for Europe, Canada, and the United States as part of an international research project to support Victoria's post-Covid building and construction industry.

The Australian-first three-week study tour will investigate emerging trends in alternative supply chains and materials, circular economy, net zero buildings, regulatory reform, and innovation in sustainable building practices while examining best-practice skills, training, and migration.

MBV CEO Rebecca Casson said the research project and study tour were extremely timely, given the multiple challenges impacting Victoria's building and construction industry.

Many of the state's builders are struggling with profitability while dealing with skills and labour shortages, ongoing material price increases, significant workplace stress, and mental health issues.

Ms Casson said the research project and study tour would be an invaluable investment into the confidence of Victoria's building and construction industry and an opportunity to showcase Victoria to the world. 

"If we want to lead a future-ready industry that builds a better world, we cannot do this whilst focusing solely on Victoria. It is vital to have a global perspective," she said.

"The upcoming research project and study tour will showcase Victoria internationally as a great place to live and work as we gather knowledge and real-world experience to ensure that Victoria's building and construction industry continues to be a global leader.

"It will also provide first-hand insights into how key overseas counterparts in the building and construction industry are solving some of the current critical issues, such as supply chain constraints and skills and labour shortages."

The MBV study tour will begin in Europe with visits to Brussels and London, with a stop in Birmingham to meet with those involved in building the 2022 Commonwealth Games infrastructure ahead of the Games coming to Victoria in 2026.

There will be further stops in Toronto, Washington, and New York.

The research project will produce the following benefits:

  • Leading Australia's investigation of international post-covid best-practice in the building and construction industry.
  • Supporting industry to help raise the profile of Victoria to increase inward migration and investment.
  • International sector engagement with an opportunity to showcase best practice industry standards.
  • First-hand practical insights on how some of the issues the building and construction industry faces are solved in other competitive markets.
  • Engagement with critical international policymakers and policy entrepreneurs.
  • Identify opportunities and best practices to support Victoria's post-covid building and construction industry.

Ms Casson said MBV was unaware of any other state or industry group looking to undertake international research in this way. 

"It is vital now, more than ever before, that our industry continues to work together to showcase the very best of Victoria and glean best practices in an international post-pandemic world," she said.

"Whilst the research project is not meant to be a panacea, it is vital that our industry begins to re-engage with other parts of the world."