ElectraNet has committed to begin ‘recruitment activities’ in March 2020 with the first intake of graduates expected to start in January 2021. The company’s commitment to establishing a graduate program is an important step towards addressing a key issue within Australia’s engineering workforce.
Our engineering graduate programs are lagging. Graduate numbers cover only a third of our engineering needs, and it isn’t difficult to see why Australia ranks 79th in the world for training graduates.
To save on costs, many businesses rely on recruiting overseas engineers on temporary visas rather than investing in local talent. Due to the lack of graduate investment, companies lack mid-level engineers on projects. It’s this lack of investment that undermines the future of Australia’s engineering workforce.
To protect the future of the profession, businesses and governments must invest in graduate programs. These programs function best when skilled and experienced engineers are at the centre of training and developing the next generation.
ElectraNet engineers signed a petition, addressed to the CEO, in support of a best practice program in order to:
- Maintain and build the company’s in-house technical capability
- Support workforce planning
- Assist knowledge transfer
A comprehensive graduate programs like this work by ensuring the development of well-rounded engineers, capable of delivering high quality projects.
We commend ElectraNet CEO, Steve Masters for his support of this important initiative. Our members look forward to working with ElectraNet to develop and deliver a best practice graduate program.
However, while ElectraNet have made some admirable commitments, currently there is no graduate program, and this will not change until the first graduates walk in the door in 2021.
As an engineer, speaking up not only challenges the status quo but strengthens your influence at work. You’re most valuable to your employer not only in the work you do but with the opinions, innovations and ideas you voice. To ensure the profession’s future, you must be proactive and address the issues that affect your workplace.
We acknowledge that these conversations might be difficult to start, but we can help. If you need any support to approach management about implementing a graduate program at your work, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll put you in touch with an expert organiser to help you start the process.