Engineering Skills Shortage Inquiry

On 07 November 2011 the Senate referred the following matter to the Senate Education, Employment and Workplace Relations Committees for inquiry and report.

The Senate referred to the Committee an inquiry into the nexus between the demand for infrastructure delivery and the shortage of appropriate engineering and related employment skills in Australia.

The committee has been asked to consider the implications of the shortage for infrastructure delivery and the impact on economic development, cost, efficiency, safety and disputation, and the long term outsourcing of engineering activities by government on skills development and retention in both the private and public sectors.

The committee will consider options to address the skill shortage for engineers and related trades, for infrastructure delivery using alternative procurement models, and to consider 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. Incentives to the private sector through the procurement process to undertake skills development, and the consequences of skills shortage in the construction sector to the public sectors’ capacity to effectively procure and manage infrastructure projects will also be explored.
Submissions should be received by 03 February 2012. The reporting date is 30 June 2012.

The Committee is seeking written submissions from interested individuals and organisations preferably in electronic form submitted online or sent by email to ua.vog.hpa|nes.rwee#ua.vog.hpa|nes.rwee as an attached Adobe PDF or MS Word format document. The email must include full postal address and contact details.


  1. Make the skills of the existing practitioners go further by:
    1. Encouraging collaboration. (e.g. Wikis, Open Collaborative Design)
    2. Encouraging the development and use of AI systems. - e.g. Dr. Watson
    3. Encouraging the use of creative commons licencing
  2. Increase the talent pool by reducing the cost and improving the quality of engineering education through technology
    1. Free On-line Classes, TED, Khan Academy, RSA.
    2. We should aim to educate a million people for the same price as it costs to educate one thousand people now, reducing the cost of education 1000 fold. It is possible and Australia's Universities need to start working on it now, or they will find themselves made irrellevant when it becomes possible to get a degree from prestigous universities like Stanford for free or at a very minimal cost.
  3. Anticipating future technological advances and educating for the future and not the past.
    1. 3D Printing, Automated Construction Techniques, Robotics, LENR.

Related Pages

External Links & References

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