Hot spots for engineering opportunities Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Australia’s engineering sector is very active with continuing demand and vacancies, according to Hays Global Skills Index for the October to December 2017 quarter.

The NSW market is strong with civil engineering expected to strengthen thanks to government investment in roads and rail including the Sydney Metro, Sydney Light Rail and the Parramatta Light Rail. But mining and mechanical engineers are also in demand.

In the resources sector PDI/commissioning supervisors are wanted as large amounts of machinery are arriving onsite due to a resurgence in mining. Safety/training co-ordinators are needed as well as workloads and headcounts increase and compliance requirements must be met. Workshop supervisors are also needed in the coal industry with new and maintenance of machinery goes up with number of shifts which also has created demand for supervisors. Boilermakers/welders are in demand as mines commission new equipment or rebuilds/complete shutdowns for equipment not serviced during the downturn. For the same reason mechanical fitters are also being sought after.

The ACT market also remains strong in civil with a number of subdivisions, land releases and road duplications which are fuelling vacancy numbers. This includes the $700 million light rail project in the territory.

Victoria is also busy with subdivisions in Melbourne’s north-west and south-east and civil works that include rail upgrades and the Melbourne Metro, according to Hays. Civil designers are in high demand for land development, highway and bridge projects due to the increase in infrastructure and subdivisions. Senior structural engineers are in demand as commercial projects have increased. And senior mechanical engineers are needed given the major increase in work and the shortage of experienced engineers in the market.

In Queensland, there’s a lot of activity on the Gold Coast driven by the 2018 Commonwealth Games including construction and restoration of new and old sporting venues. Residential developments for townhouses and apartments for athletes and officials as well as sport and community facilities are boosting the engineering market. The Brisbane market is slow but steady with the $3 billion Queen’s Wharf development and highway upgrades and subdivisions.

In the Sunshine State, civil engineers with road experience for infrastructure are being sought for upgrades, land stabilisation and new roads/highways. Piling engineers are also in demand. Traffic engineers with broad experience in congestion and integrated transport planning are also in current demand, particularly within the public sector. In North Queensland, the civil construction market has improved with investment in mining infrastructure, roads and bulk earthworks.

Things are looking good for local engineers in Western Australia with civil construction in Perth particularly buoyant due to highway extensions and the airport link. Civil engineers and drafters are in high demand due to ongoing major project workloads but employers are wanting people with Mains Road WA experience.

There is significant infrastructure spending and major projects happening in South Australia, including road upgrades in Adelaide that will boost the civil market over the next few years. Structural engineers with plenty of experience are in high demand with many commercial projects underway and civil engineers are being sought due to large scale ongoing infrastructure projects. 12D designers are “greatly sought after” due to increased activity in that space and this software not used by many local engineers.

In Tasmania, investment in roads and major construction projects is creating vacancies. Civil designers are in demand due to civil infrastructure and residential development. Civil project managers are being sought and building services engineers are required as construction and redevelopment projects have spiked

In the Northern Territory, Hays said civil designers with 12D experience are in high demand for NT Government infrastructure works. Structural engineers experienced with cyclonic codes are also in demand. And civil engineers (QA/QC) are needed as major projects underway in Darwin are causing a skills shortage.