20 March 2013 — [Updated] Consult Australia’s chief executive officer Megan Motto has blamed government underinvestment in infrastructure and declining business confidence for a sharp fall in work for engineers.
According to recent survey by Consult Australia almost half of the engineering industry is reducing recruitment activities with a quarter making targeted redundancies.
The 2013 Skills Survey, released in February, found a contrast to the 2010 and 2011 survey when 74 and 66 per cent of firms respectively stated they were recruiting and there was a skills shortage.
Ms Motto said the crisis was “indicative of the Government’s underinvestment in infrastructure and is symptomatic of declining business confidence in the economy”.
“Until governments provide a more stable and consistent pipeline of work, the engineering industry will be forced to continue cutting back staff, which will be to the detriment of Australian productivity and the overall economy.”
According to Consult Australia’s Economic Forecast the industry consists of about 48,600 firms, employing about 240,000 people and generating revenues of $41 billion per year.