Civil, Transport Engineers in Short Supply

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016
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Transport, rail and civil engineers in Australia are in increasingly short supply as work on a massive range of road and rail projects ramps up., according to the latest report.

Releasing its second quarter snapshot, recruitment outfit Hays says both permanent and temporary roles ware expanding amid a strong pipeline of work on significant developments in New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT.

In particular, Hays says design engineers with road project experience and IT/design abilities are in demand as are rail engineers with track or electrification experience whilst civil engineers, civil designers and MX designers are needed for road and highway projects and transport planners are required in terms of the research and analytics needed to help alleviate challenges associated with growing traffic volumes.

In terms of building, high levels of activity in multi-residential construction are driving demand for senior design engineers, civil and structural engineers (buildings) for urban and land development projects and civil drafters for sub-division and building related civil works.

Revit modellers are also in demand as are senior structural engineers, Hays says.

Hays’ comments come as the latest figures suggest that demand for engineers overall is back on the rise.

Thanks to a surge in the need for civil engineers, overall job vacancy numbers for engineering professionals in Australia were up by more than 200 or just over ten percent year on year in the month of February, according to Department of Employment figures.

That’s notwithstanding slowing demand for mining engineers, industrial and mechanical engineers, electrical engineers and chemical engineers (see chart).

Such demand is being driven work on a strong pipeline of developments, including the Australia Inland Rail Expressway as well as projects such as the North West Rail Link, WestConnex, road and rail links out to the second airport, the North West Rail Link, NorthConnex and various upgrades to the Pacific Highway in New South Wales as well as Melbourne Metro Rail, the Western Distributor project and the rail crossing removal project in Melbourne and the Cross River Project and Gold Coast Rail project in Queensland.

Going forward, with Australian Construction Industry Forum expecting the dollar value of investment in construction of roads as well as bridges, railways and harbours to grow from $23.9 billion in 2015/15 to almost $30 billion by 2018/19, there are few signs of demand for transport or civil engineers slowing notwithstanding a likely slowdown in other parts of the building sector such as apartments and multi-residential units.

In terms of candidates, Hays says a number of those who had previously worked 78 hour weeks are looking for less intense roles on smaller projects.

Those without Revit skills, meanwhile, are seeking employers willing to train them in this area.

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