When engineer Angela Durston-Ryan relocated from Melbourne to Shepparton she quickly realised the advantages of a regional treechange. "You can get involved in the community, which I didn't realise that I was missing," she said, "I was given the opportunity to become engineering team lead, so a position in leadership that I didn't have when I was in Melbourne." Alongside a promotion, Ms Durston-Ryan has purchased her own home, something she said wouldn't have been possible in the city. New data from the Regional Australia Institute shows soaring expenses and the rising cost of city living are causing construction industry professionals to consider a move to the regions. The study found more than three in five metropolitan tradies or engineers would consider a job in the regions, with nearly a quarter saying they would definitely make the move. Construction industry professionals said the rising cost of petrol and tolls were hitting the hip-pocket hard. They also cited a desire for more relaxed lifestyle, shorter commute times, a stronger sense of community and the opportunity to own their own business as attractive elements of regional life. Nearly half of all tradies reported struggles with their mental health, with one-third citing job insecurity due to a sense of work opportunities drying up. Regional Australia Institute CEO Liz Ritchie said the regions needed a skilled workforce to enhance infrastructure in regional communities. "To rebalance the nation and really grow regional Australia, we need enhanced regional infrastructure. And to build that infrastructure, you need a skilled and experienced workforce," she said "So if you're a plumber who's tired of sitting in rush hour traffic or an electrician who spends hours commuting from job to job, we're imploring you to think beyond city limits. Regional Australia is crying out for skilled tradespeople to build the houses, hospitals and schools of tomorrow." There's no shortage of jobs in the regions with 10,426 regional jobs advertised online for tradies in June 2023, according to recent data compiled by the Regional Australia Institute. NSW had the most regional jobs on offer in the building and construction sectors followed by Victoria. Beyond greater work life balance, Ms Durston-Ryan said getting to know her neighbours in Shepparton had been a highlight of her move. "You can feel part of the community a lot more here," she said. "Especially during the floods, the community really rallied around each other, helping out sandbagging or whatever needed to happen. You can go to a local footy and netball day out. It's pretty awesome seeing everyone in the community involved." IN OTHER NEWS: The pandemic era saw a national trend of people moving to the regions seeking greater work life balance, community, and jobs. That boom in regional relocations continues, with the most recent Regional Movers Index for June 2023 showing migration flows to regional areas are up more than 16 per cent on average compared to 2018 and 2019. The top five most popular areas for people leaving cities were the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast in Queensland, Greater Geelong in Victoria and Lake Macquarie in NSW.