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Job vacancies in Australia’s engineering sector are now back on the rise as the work on public sector road and rail projects drives demand forward.

In its latest Engineering Vacancies report, Engineers Australia said the number of vacancies throughout the engineering profession during the month of September 2017 came in at 3,783.

Whilst this is well down by about three times since the peak of the mining boom, it is up by 34 percent compared with the 2,838 vacancies recorded in 2016 and 57 percent compared with the 2,414 vacancies in September 2016.

Over the last three months, vacancies are up by 3.7 percent, meaning that steady momentum within the job market continues.

Engineering Leading the way is civil engineering, which accounts for more than six in ten vacancies and where vacancies have risen from 1,352 to 2,216 over the past twelve months.

Vacancies are also rising for industrial and mechanical engineers, electrical engineers and mining engineers – the latter sector of which is recovering after a slump amid the general improvement over the past twelve months or so in commodity prices.

Vacancies are falling, however, for ICT support and test engineers whilst remaining steady for engineering managers.

In terms of states, Vacancies in Western Australia and Queensland have risen by 30.7 percent and 25.3 percent respectively for the first nine months of this year amid recovering demand for mining engineers.

Vacancy numbers since the start of the year are also up 20.7 percent in Victoria and 18.6 percent in South Australia as well as 12 percent over the past twelve months in New south Wales.

In terms of smaller and more statistically volatile states, vacancies are up in Tasmania and the Northern Territory but down in the Australian Capital Territory.

Largely speaking, demand for engineers in Australia is being driven by strong levels of public investment which has seen the forward pipeline of work on road projects more than double over the past three years and that of rail projects increase.

Significant dollar value projects which are driving activity include the Sydney Rapid Transit Projects, WestConnex and the Regional Road Freight Corridor Project in Sydney; the Metro Trains Project, the Metro Tunnel Project and the road/rail separation project in Victoria and the Bruce Highway Upgrade Program as well as the Inland Rail Project in Sydney.

Engineering

 
  • Trends in engineering graduates over next few years will be important. From a design side I see growth shifting from road to rail in coming years

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