Australia Needs Engineers - ANET

Australian National
Engineering Taskforce
Consult Australia
Engineers Australia
The Australian Council of Engineering Deans
The Australian Academy of Technological
Sciences and Engineering
Australia Needs Engineers
Government is investing in infrastructure.
• Stimulus spending - $277 billion by 2012
• 2010 budget announced $5.6 billion for the
Resources Infrastructure Fund
An Identified Capacity Shortage
• A July 2010 CEO survey from the Australian
Industry Group found that engineers were in
demand, with half of companies surveyed giving
the management of skills shortages top priority
or high priority.
• In 2010 the National Resources Sector
Taskforce heard from employers that there will
be a heavy shortfall in engineering skills in the
resources sector without investment.
A Recognised Shortfall
• POWER: The Australian Power Institute has stated that
in the next 5 years an additional 700-1000 graduate
engineers will be required in power due to retirements
and growth in the industry.
• WATER: The Water Services Association of Australia has
predicted that 25-27% of the workforce will have retired
by 2017.
• RESOURCES: It has been estimated that at its peak the
Gorgon LNG Project in WA will require 6,000 workers.
How will this affect other industries in the state?
Industry Needs Engineers
• Blake Dawson’s ‘Scope for Improvement’ report
discovered cost overruns of some $200 million
for every $1 billion spent on major infrastructure
projects in 2008, due mainly to scoping
• Consult Australia’s Skills Survey found that two
thirds of consulting firms delayed projects last
year because of staff shortages. Employers had
most difficulty attracting mid-level and senior
A Workforce Development Problem
• The engineering profession is ageing.
– Engineers Australia estimated that 70,000 engineers will have retired
between 2006 and 2011. Only half that number will graduate from
university during that period.
• There are too few new engineers
– 40% of commencing engineering students do not complete their
engineering degree.
– 75% of graduates will leave the profession within 10 years.
– Only 17% of engineering graduates are women, unacceptably low.
• Immigration: sustainable?
– 40% of engineering graduates from Australian universities were
overseas students in 2006.
– In 2007-8 around 80% as many engineers immigrated to Australia as
graduated from Australian Universities.
Engineer Survey: December 2009
Engineer Survey: December 2009
Engineer Survey: December 2009
• We have insufficient qualified people to make effective judgement calls
regarding the expenditure of public money. We have a large number of
partially qualified people doing the job of senior engineers.
• I am the youngest. There has been NIL succession plan - All my peers will
retire :
2 staff in two years
1 in four years
2 in ten years
• We moved from having a large in-house engineering workforce, to
outsourcing most functions… We struggle to remain an informed client
and are desperately trying to build technical expertise in key areas that
cannot be met through the private sector. The current situation is
inadequate to meet current demands, let alone provide a sustainable
model to meet future demands.
Engineer Survey: December 2009
• Not enough personnel in auditing, quality and compliance with
engineering and/or technical skills. Non-technical people are assessing
engineering management systems for compliance and not properly
comprehending technical aspects and risks.
Anytime one of us has a technical question on flotation, we go to the same
guy who is close to retirement and only works 2 days a week. It means
delays in making decisions on our projects, or winging it.
Industry support
Australasian Railways Association;
Australian Railway Industry
Corporation (ARIC);
Australian Rail Track Corporation;
Queensland Rail;
Roads Australia;
Transport and Logistics Centre
Infrastructure Partnerships Australia;
The National Transport Commission
The Australian Construction Industry
Forum (ACIF);
The Civil Contractors Federation
The Australian Constructors
Association (ACA);
Master Builders Association;
The Australian Council of Built
Environment Design Professionals
The Australian Procurement and
Construction Council (ACPP);
The Chartered Institute of Purchasing
and Supply Australia (CIPSA)
Australasian Institute of Mining and
Metallurgy (AusIMM);
The Australian Power Institute;
Water Services Association of
The Warren Centre for Engineering
Government Leadership
• Skills Australia have nominated
Engineering as an occupation requiring
workforce development interventions to
address market failure.
• ANET has been funded by Government to
begin building a national workforce
development agenda for engineering.
ANET: Projects For 2010
1. Demand and workforce development analysis
by industry/sector: priority, road and rail.
Draft report by June, final November 2010
Developing a model for industry analysis
Creating consensus and engagement with key stakeholder concerns
2. Education pathways, specifically VET/HE
articulation and best practice – unblocking
Report to Government by the end of 2010
Next Steps: A National Plan
• Develop education policy proposals, including
mechanisms for improved industry involvement, on the
job development and intergenerational transfers.
• Work with National Resource Sector Employment
Taskforce and Skills Australia to assess needs.
• Apply ANET research model to other sectors: Power,
Local Government etc.
• Incorporate work/findings of Water sector employment
• Work with Government on sustainable migration issues