Inspire : Public Works Sept Oct 2012
coverstory “IPWEA is currently investigating what support it can provide for a Young IPWEA network to be established across all states,” he says. “We made submissions to the recent Senate Inquiry proposing a range of education and development programs aimed at getting young engineers to take up public works as a career, including work exper ience programs and diploma cour ses. “ But a regional exchange program is another idea that is wor th further consideration. Ensuring that those who are already in the industry are exposed to the widest array of skills as possible is as important as growing the profession.” The need to provide young public works professionals with mentoring opportunities is equally important. Assistant engineer Will Barton undertook an internship at the council in 2005 after a delegation from Riverina Eastern Regional Organisation of Councils (REROC) visited the Univer sity of Technology in Sydney to deliver a presentation. Bar ton, 26, says the training and professional development on offer at r ural and regional councils is vital when it comes to facilitating skills acquisition for young engineer s. He would strongly suppor t a formal exchange program. “ Training and professional development is cr ucial when it comes to tack ling the issue of attracting and retaining skilled public work s engineer s,” he says. “My role here is very diverse and I would strongly encourage young engineers to experience life at a regional council. They will be exposed to a range of engineering issues and disciplines, rather than being pigeonholed.” ••• continue the conversation What are some other practical ways the public works sector can alleviate the skills shortage? How can the industry attract new entrants and what else can be done to retain those already in it? How can current engineers adapt to an increasing array of required skills? Visit http://goo.gl/imtle to have your say.
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