The 2019 Victorian State of Engineering Report has highlighted the high demand for engineers in Victoria’s infrastructure industry.
The report explores the major engineering projects shaping Victoria with a focus on transport infrastructure, and notes the demand for engineers is growing, in order to provide greater capacity to deliver projects.
Victoria’s booming infrastructure pipeline is reflective of the state’s population growth; with the population expected to considerably increase over the next 30 years to more than 11 million people by 2056.
The state’s current major project pipeline exceeds $100 billion, with $70 billion committed to the transport sector.
The construction of 100 major road and rail projects is to be delivered, and planning is under way for several future projects that are set to transform the way Victorians travel.
Additionally, Industry 4.0 represents one of the most exciting and challenging developments for engineers. Capturing its full potential will require engineers to have the ability to design, build, troubleshoot and maintain Industry 4.0 technologies.
However, the report acknowledges that engineering organisations are already struggling to fill roles, with nearly two-thirds of engineering firms experiencing a skills shortage.
Given the importance of engineering to everyday life, the report highlights the need to continue growing our current engineering capability, and particularly attract more young people to engineering as a career choice.
Victorian Treasurer, Tim Pallas, who launched the report at the World Engineers Convention in Melbourne last month, said the Government would work to attract more young people and women to engineering and ensure they are supported to reach leadership roles.
Currently, only about 12 per cent of the engineering workforce in Australia is female.
“Engineers have a leading role to play in the coming decades as they work to solve global challenges such as the depletion of resources, pollution and ecosystem damage,” he said.
“Given the importance of engineering to the growth and prosperity of our state, we will continue to grow our engineering capability and attract more young people to engineering as a career choice.”
For Victoria’s Chief Engineer, Collette Burke, the report was an opportunity to reflect on the significant contributions of engineers.
“Engineers are fundamental to the growth of our State,” Dr Burke said.
“Whether you’re sending a message on your phone, catching a train to work, or getting water from a tap – the lives of all Victorians have been made easier and more enjoyable thanks to engineers.”
Additional points raised in the report include the importance of the Professional Engineers Registration Bill in building community confidence in the sector, and the use of technology to address the challenges for the engineering profession as it strives to become more sustainable.