Professionals Australia gives evidence at engineering Senate inquiry
After months of lobbying and consultation, CEO of Professionals Australia Chris Walton gave evidence on behalf of members to the Senate Inquiry into the shortage of engineering last week.
Tuesday, 3 April 2012
In his appearance before the Senate inquiry, Mr Walton said that the critical shortage of engineers would have an impact on every Australian.
Speaking before giving evidence, Mr Walton said “If you like traffic snarls and power blackouts, unemployment lines and water restrictions well you're going to love an ongoing shortage of engineers.”
“Last year the Australian Government found that a staggering 60 per cent of available engineering positions were not filled due to a shortage of engineers.
“That means our projects are being delayed and going over budget. It also means we are not building as much infrastructure as we should be."
“Australia is also failing to give engineering graduates the experience they need to become engineering leaders of the future.”
Mr Walton said while the shortage was patchy depending on the specialisation and location of engineering work required there was no doubt that the engineering crisis was getting worse despite various initiatives over the past decade.
“Unfortunately it has come to crunch time and we need concerted efforts from all governments to reverse the trend,” Mr Walton said.
“Australian engineers are the great innovators of our economy and drive technological change. Engineers will solve some of the biggest problems we face now and into the future – including some we haven't even identified yet.”
Mr Walton proposed several initiatives to deliver more engineering talent including creating the Office of the Chief Engineer, similar to the Office of the Chief Scientist, encourage more women to the profession and better training packages.
For a list of proposed solutions see the ANET and Professionals Australia submissions to the inquiry