Researchers Say That the Tradie Shortage Could Cripple Governments Emissions Reduction Targets
Electricians are emerging as one of the most important professions in Australia’s shift to renewable energy, despite the fact that it may not feel like a “green” job.
However, experts are expressing concern that the Federal Government may not be able to reach its carbon reduction targets in a timely manner due to crippling workforce gaps.
It wants the great majority of Australia’s energy to come from renewable sources in only eight years.
To build and install the required infrastructure, a huge workforce would be needed.
Electricians, engineers, and construction managers will make up the largest group of workers, according to Infrastructure Australia.
However, labor is already in short supply, not simply because of the renewables boom, but because of the enormous pipeline of other infrastructure projects already underway in Australia.
Abhinu Raghavan, an electrical engineer in Western Australia, claimed that demand in his industry had grown by 250% in just two years and he is expecting it will double once more in the coming years.
Thousands of workers short
According to researchers, the government would need to quickly scale up the workforce if it were to achieve its goal of a 43% reduction in emissions by 2030.
Chris Briggs, research director for the University of Technology Sydney’s Institute for Sustainable Futures, estimated that within five years, the renewables sector would require about 15,000 new workers.
The race against time
According to Minister of Skills and Training Brendan O’Connor, the government is addressing the shortages by offering funding to support 10,000 new energy apprenticeships.
He said that it was also commissioning research on the workforce’s capacity. He also blamed the previous government for the current shortages.
More work to boost workers needed
Dr. Briggs expressed his optimism that it will succeed.
But he added that although the current actions were appreciated, more needed to be done.