This report examines the nexus between the demand for infrastructure delivery and the shortage of appropriate engineering and related employment skills in Australia.
On 7 November 2011 the Senate referred the shortage of engineering and related employment skills to the Senate Education, Employment and Workplace Relations References Committee for inquiry and report by 30 June 2012.
The committee was asked to examine the nexus between the demand for infrastructure delivery and the shortage of appropriate engineering and related employment skills in Australia, with particular reference to:
- the implications of the shortage for infrastructure delivery in terms of economic development, cost, efficiency, safety and disputation;
- the impact of the long-term outsourcing of engineering activities by government on skills development and retention in both the private and public sectors;
- options to address the skill shortage for engineers and related trades, and the effectiveness and efficiency of relevant policies, both past and present;
- options for infrastructure delivery using alternative procurement models which aim to foster collaboration and achieve effective community outcomes, including skills development and retention;
- effective strategies to develop and retain engineering talent in the private and public sectors through industry training and development, at enterprise, project and whole-of-sector levels;
- opportunities to provide incentives to the private sector through the procurement process to undertake skills development;
- consequences of skills shortage in the construction sector to the public sector’s capacity to effectively procure and manage infrastructure projects; and
- the impact of delayed and stalled infrastructure projects on economic development, workplace productivity and employment.