Skills needed to enable productivity-enhancing technology

OpEd – Romilly Madew (CEO, Engineers Australia)

As the world continues to embrace technology, systems will become more complex making the skills engineers possess critical to the construction industry. Australia is currently experiencing a significant shortage of engineering skills affecting most disciplines and sectors.

Infrastructure Australia predicts 41,000 further engineers will be needed to meet the pipeline of public infrastructure work.
With private construction also booming nationwide, the need to look to increase productivity in the sector and develop the skills of tomorrow is more important than ever.

The uptake of technology can provide benefits to all phases of the construction and maintenance of assets. Digital twins, smart sensors, building information modeling (BIM) systems, digital engineering, and digital asset management tools can all help to reduce costs, increase productivity, and improve construction quality. The use of these technologies has numerous benefits, including increased collaboration and communication between teams and enhancing innovation through data capture.

Developing the skills to utilise these technologies within the existing workforce and in the next generation is critical for the construction industry to experience the gains possible from technological advancement.
The construction industry needs to consider how to support the engineering workforce to up-skill. Mechanisms such as micro-credentialing and career mentors can be a good start.

In addition, offering supportive internships and graduate programs for new engineers entering the sector can help to develop the next generation while also capitalising on their digital savviness.

by Romilly Madew (CEO, Engineers Australia)

For more information contact
Engineers Australia

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