Engineering Graduate Shortage Leads to Increased Cost for Employers

Posted by Belinda Luby

In Focus: Engineering in Australia

engineer graduates looking at blueprint

Demand has long outweighed supply in the Engineering industry in Australia, and set to remain that way at the current rate of jobs versus graduates. According to the AAGE, 2010 showed a huge 18.6% increase in graduate places for Engineering graduates in only 12 months.

Chemical engineering vacancies were up 133% followed by mechanical and civil engineering vacancies, up 89% and 14% respectively.

Of these vacancies, 34.2% were in Perth, followed closely by Sydney at 31.2% and Melbourne at 26.1%.  With the exception of Perth, the remainder of results show that vacancies correlate with population size.

According to the department of Education, Science and Training, engineering salaries in 2010 were up 5.8%, with a 2.6% increase in electrical/electronic engineering, 5.8% increase in Mechanical Engineering, 5.8% in Chemical Engineering and a large 10.8% increase in Environmental Science, likely due to the increased international focus on environmental sustainability and the looming carbon tax possibility.

In terms of working rights 52.57% of Engineering graduates applying in 2010 were Australian Citizens, 22.48% Permanent Residents and a large 24.9% on a Student Visa. 75.4% of applicants were male and 24.6% female, with females constituting 14% of the employed engineers in Australia in 2010 according to Engineers Australia.

Engineering comprises a total of 16% of the total unfilled graduate places in Australia, with Mechanical engineering accounting for 6% of unfilled vacancies, with Civil and Electrical engineering at 5% each (AAGE 2011).

The key challenges for human resource teams in 2010 were retention and remuneration. 62% of respondents to the 2010 Engineers Australia Salary and Benefits Survey reported experiencing professional engineer skills shortages, and nearly 30% of respondents indicated this led to major problems including project delays and cost increases, further driving Engineering starting salaries higher - great news for Graduates!

Whats Been Happening in the World of Engineering?

Thanks to Engineering genius at Swedish company Slovatten, drought relief efforts in The Horn of Africa have have a higher chance of being able to provide clean water to those in need. Activated by heat and UV rays, the device eliminates the need to boil untreated water. Read the full article here.

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