Skills shortage: holding Australia back

By Elizabeth Latham, Journalist
Monday, 08 October, 2007

Australia must develop a national strategy to address current skills shortages in the high technology industry, according to the Australian Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association (AEEMA).

When asked by Radio Comms Asia-Pacific what would happen to the industry if action is not taken soon, AEEMA's chief executive, Angus M Robinson replied: "When niche opportunities emerge in global markets, Australian industry will not have the human resource capital base to respond, and the opportunities will go to other economies."

AEEMA has called on both sides of politics to develop a strategy which will reverse the decline in student enrolments and expand the pool of available workers in the sector.

"[The government needs to] completely rebuild the skills and education framework focused on a long-term vision which links skills development and education to the high technology industry needs of Australia," Robinson said.

Robinson believes investment in skilled human infrastructure is vital to ensure Australia has people with the right skills to underpin technology-assisted productivity growth into the future.

"We need a national strategy which encourages companies and governments to devote greater effort and investment in skills fore-sighting, training and upgrading the skills of their people. We must also find ways to encourage a culture of continuous learning where employees want to keep their skills current," Robinson said.

The skills shortage is a result of two things: young people not choosing careers in the industry and companies not training staff and updating their skills.

"Governments and industry together have not put in place the necessary, long-term career development programs aimed at attracting Australia's 'best and brightest' into high technology industries," Robinson said.

Robinson also raised the issue that as a result of the current tertiary funding model, universities have been forced into putting more effort into attracting and upskilling overseas students rather than Australians.

"The funding model for universities will need to be radically changed to make any difference whatsoever," Robinson said.

"There seems little that individual businesses can do to rectify this skills shortage. Skills infrastructure building is a key and unique responsibility of government," Robinson concluded.

Related Articles

Australia's largest electronics expo returns to Sydney

Electronex, the annual electronics design and assembly expo, will return to Sydney on 19–20...

The fundamentals of Australian RCM compliance

The following information aims to help readers understand the Australian compliance requirements...

Largest ever Electronex Expo in Melbourne

The Electronics Design and Assembly Expo will return to Melbourne from 10–11 May at the...

  • All content Copyright © 2024 Westwick-Farrow Pty Ltd