The engineering sector is a critical contributor to a number of industries in Australia, including infrastructure and construction.
With the release of The State of Engineering report from Engineers Australia, there are some pressing issues that must be addressed to ensure long-term success for the sector, including the need for a stronger STEM skillbase.
The state of Australian engineering
Over the next few years, Engineers Australia predicts that productivity improvements will be a key factor in boosting economic growth, as well as opening more opportunities for professionals. Engineers will have an important role to play in the effective management of infrastructure growth, and proactive investment in key projects that uphold the quality of services and structures.
Another key area for engineering is the service sector, including architectural services. This sector currently employs 69 per cent of all engineers and is set to remain steady over the next few years.
According to the report, Victoria and NSW are currently driving GDP growth, making these important areas of focus for design and construction recruitment.
Boosting our skilled workforce
A report from Ai Group highlighted the pressing need for STEM skills. According to their survey, 44 per cent of businesses have trouble finding professionals with the appropriate STEM skills for roles, especially those with mathematics knowledge.
Alongside government and educational organisations, businesses can contribute to the ongoing efforts to upskill by work placements, experience programs and internships.
Encouraging STEM upskilling will be vital in providing future opportunities for jobs.
The need for a STEM strategy was compound by a release from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), revealing a slip in the global ranking for young people. According to OECD data, Australia currently rates as the 17th best country for employment of under 25-year-olds, from a survey of 34 nations. This represents a decrease of six places compared to 2016.
PwC Australia Economics and Policy Partner Jeremy Thorpe explained that encouraging STEM upskilling will be vital in providing future opportunities for jobs.
"With 75 per cent of the fastest growing occupations requiring STEM skills, improving STEM education - mathematics in particular - and shifting our workforce into STEM, will be essential if we're to effectively leverage young workers," he stated.
At Design and Construct, we strive to track down the most skilled workers across the country, as well as providing opportunities for professionals to put their knowledge to good use. If you are ready to connect, speak to us today.