The $ 500bn plan where the maths don’t add up
AN estimated $ 500 billion in infrastructure development across the nation over the next decade and 13.5 per cent employment growth on the back of the resources juggernaut are enough reasons to consider a graduate career in engineering.
That’s the message from Hobson’s GradCareers, one of the nation’s leading recruiters.
Amid positive forecasts of growth and revenue rises, and increasing graduate salaries, the only downside for industry is that there simply may not be enough engineering graduates to go around, a spokesman says.
Industry experts estimate Australia’s minerals industry will need an extra 70,000 workers over the next decade, which represents a staggering 76 per cent increase in employment,’’ he adds.
And even though most of this demand for workers is in trades and semi- skilled positions, it’s estimated that over the next decade Australia’s resources sector will need more than 7600 additional professionals.
Included in this group of desired professionals will be mining, metallurgical, minerals, resources, and construction engineers, among others.
Employment rates are strong across the many engineering disciplines, but are particularly positive for graduates of civil/ structural ( 93.8 per cent), electrical ( 92.3 per cent), and mechanical ( 85.1 per cent) engineering, according to research conducted by APESMA.
In particular, acute shortages of chemical, civil, electrical, mechanical, mining, and petroleum engineers have resulted in their inclusion on the Department of Immigration and Citizenships Migration Occupations in Demand List,’’ the spokesman says.
So intense is the problem that top industry professionals predict a shortage of up to 20,000 engineers within six years.
Among other reasons, a shortage of qualified maths and science teachers in high schools has been blamed for the apparent increasing levels of student disinterest in these disciplines.
‘‘ This, in turn, translates into a level of uptake of engineering courses that is failing to satisfy the growth in the engineering sector, particularly in specific disciplines,’’ the spokesman says.
In future years, positive graduate outcomes, strong employment and competitive salaries may help to encourage renewed enthusiasm.’’
Salaries for engineering graduates have been increasing steadily in recent years.