The Problems

Engineers do not have its proper place at the decision-making table. Often those who manage engineers do not have the technical skill required. A lack of engineering input is affecting outcomes – blocking innovation, while increasing project waste and cost as well as timely delivery, safety and quality outcomes.

 

There is no clear plan from Governments to lift the standing of the engineering profession. Issues which need to be tackled include:

 

  • Non-engineers are able to ‘call themselves’ engineers in most states and territories. Too many non-engineers working in jobs that should be performed by qualified professional engineers devalues the profession
  • The overreliance on non-engineers in project management & decision-making, leads to poor project scope, design and delivery
  • Engineering advice is not taken seriously enough, or sometimes not considered at all

 

Meanwhile, Australia is not adequately investing in the engineering workforce of the future and there is not enough focus on training and professional development.

 

  • Engineers are not being properly trained and professionally developed
  • Outsourcing to overseas companies is costing jobs and career paths
  • Overreliance on migration and temporary visas is affecting career opportunities and costing local jobs
  • The gender pay gap and poor workplace environments are driving young women away from engineering at a time when we need the best and brightest

 

As a result, Australian cities and regions aren’t working with growing population and inadequate or poorly planned infrastructure and this is affecting liveability and our quality of life.

Despite the huge amount of engineering work required with Australia’s growing infrastructure needs, defence projects and our move to advanced manufacturing, we are not innovating fast enough which affects productivity, economic growth, jobs and Australia’s future.

 

The unprecedented planned investment by government in infrastructure requires an urgent plan to ensure government and the private sector has the proper internal professional capabilities to ensure taxpayer dollars are not wasted and critical infrastructure is not delayed.