IPWEA calls for national cadet engineering program
The NSW branch of the Institute of Public Works Engineers Australasia (IPWEA) has urged the government to support the adoption of a national cadet engineering program, recommending that the Australian Government play a role in incentivising local government to directly engage cadet engineers within councils across Australia.
The delivery and ongoing stewardship of critical infrastructure will require qualified and skilled professional engineers to ensure value for money.
IPWEA NSW undertook a skills audit across NSW councils and collated data from recent membership surveys. The trend is very clear.
It found that with 53% of engineers responding now over 50 years of age, and a skills shortage already evident, it is clear that governments across all levels must act now to immediately incentivise investment in new skilled and qualified engineers for the future. Only 53% of NSW local councils have a cadet engineering program.
The government has introduced excellent incentive programs for civil construction trainees and apprentices, but the shortage of qualified engineers is not being addressed. The IPWEA believes that with the right incentive programs, councils can offer a breeding ground for future professionals to deliver high-quality infrastructure and services to their communities. In regional areas of Australia, this offers the opportunity for employing and retaining young innovators of the future within regional townships.
“We urge the Australian Government to adopt a policy setting that offers support to councils through a National Cadet Engineering Program, said Warren Sharpe, NSW President. “This program should offer initial funding support, and graduated retention payments to councils to train and grow people for the future.
“The Australian Government should also investigate ways to partner with universities and professional associations to deliver fit-for-purpose training and ongoing development.
“We also urge the Australian Government to support a universal national registration scheme for engineers for the whole of Australia, and to encourage all states to incorporate this into their own jurisdictions through appropriate legislation.”
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