Inspire : Public Works Sept Oct 2012
31 What can be done? We are working with other groups, such as the IPWEA, to fx the shortage and get sensible solutions that will help both industry and all levels of government. We all know that if you let a problem fester for too long, you will need to take drastic action to fx it. We have argued that Australia will now need to fght the engineering skills shortage on all fronts: by encouraging our kids to enrol in engineering degrees, by helping students graduate with an engineering qualifcation, by giving younger engineers greater skills, by retaining our best engineers, and by bringing in some engineers from overseas to help plug the gaps. It's a problem that's now deeply ingrained from primary school to retirement. Of course, while the shortage of engineers can be patchy in different states, industries and specialisations, there is no doubt Australia is in the grip of a general engineering skills crisis that has a signifcant effect on Australia’s renowned way of life. The Senate committee’s report recommends a range of actions proposed by APESMA, which includes better procurement processes to drive graduate and cadetship programs and encouraging more women to the profession. However, APESMA believes the government should go much further to create an offce of the Chief Engineer, create a new workforce development council to advise on education and training needs and industry demand, and the incentives should be provided to the private sector to better train Australian engineers. We know that many of these solutions will cost a little in the short term, but will more than pay for themselves in the years ahead. That’s why we are calling on the major political parties to show strong leadership and fnally address the engineering skills shortage in a comprehensive way. Because, while the way for ward is obvious to APESMA, Australian engineers and the Senate, the time for talking has fnished. It’s now time to invest ourselves into a better future for all Australians. For more information about the IPWEA's response to the Senate Inquiry report, please turn to page nine. CONTINUE THE CONVERSATION Have your say on this story. Go to http://goo.gl/5L9SJ to comment on this article.
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