Welcome to the 2023 Academic Year
Skills shortages have been a strong area of focus particularly over the last year. Recent reports released have reinforced this, including Engineers Australia : Strengthening the Engineering Workforce in Australia Strengthening the engineering workforce in Australia (engineersaustralia.org.au) , Infrastructure Australia : Infrastructure Workforce Skills Supply Infrastructure Workforce and Skills Supply (infrastructureaustralia.gov.au) & Roads Australia : Procurement Reform Report Update 2022 RA_Procurement_Reform_Update_Final_ForWeb.pdf (roads.org.au).
All of these reports strongly highlight the situation where we do not have enough skilled people to meet with current and future demands we have across infrastructure, engineering, construction, transport, asset management, project management and roads.
This is a complex problem and requires multi pronged solution to address the issues. Certainly there has been a large focus on increasing skilled migration which is an important part of the solution, but an equally important area that gets neglected is the necessary investment the industry needs to make to increase the skills and competencies of the current workforce, and through an educational and practical pathway can accelerate the skills of the workforce. Not only is it essential that our current workforce take this path to continually be able to meet the demands of the current workload and projects, but exposing people to educational opportunities also stimulates innovation and further connects students to experts in the field and peers in their industry to expand their horizons. Through my experience at Engineers Australia, Monash University and Government, I have been part of roundtable discussions, analysying the skills shortage and workshopping ways to address, this includes pipleline development of new talent, pipeline skills development of the current workforce, pipeline development of attraction of overseas skills and pipeline development of transformation of similar skills – through education and practical experience. These are all important and all involve a commitment to the investment in continual learning and education. As an individual, manager , organisation or industry we are all responsible to ensure there is an ongoing commitment to invest in our people through education. I want to thank our CPEE academic and professional staff and out students for their commitment.
Madeleine McManus OAM – CEO CPEE
CPEng, NER, FIEAust, Engexec