Report December 2011 – API Members Workforce Planning Survey Conclusions

  1. Demand for graduate power engineers is expected to remain at historically high levels for the next 5 years. Approximately 1355 graduates are intended to be recruited by the Australian electricity supply industry over this period.
  2. Shortages and recruitment difficulties are being experienced for Senior Engineers throughout the industry, and for power engineering management more widely.
  3. The historically large proportion (25%) of power engineers under 30 years of age, combined with the reduction in the 40- 49 band (from 30% to 20%), will accentuate continuing professional development challenges.
  4. With almost 30% of the estimated 6,500 power engineers already over 50 years of age, there will be a major exodus of professional staff through retirements over the next decade.
  5. University programs for power engineers need to be modified to improve graduates capability to meet future industry technical challenges e.g. energy security and sustainability, intelligent generation and networks. Increased multi-disciplinary emphasis is also indicated.
  6. Universities are graduating approximately 260 power engineering students each year, who have completed 3-4 power subjects in 3rd and 4th years. If sustained over the next 5 years this would total 1300 graduates, approximately equal to forecast needs of the electricity supply industry. There would however, be competition from other industries (e.g. mining) for some of these graduates. In addition, as large proportions (31%) of engineering students are overseas students this may mean significant leakage of graduates to overseas employment.

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