Professional body Weld Australia has advised urgent action to address a predicted shortfall of 70,000 welders by 2030.
In a proposal for a “radical four-pronged approach” made on Thursday, the organisation’s CEO Geoff Crittenden said the situation was “not unique” to the nation, with US industry expected to lack 500,000 welders by 2030 and Japan 250,000 by 2050.
Included in Weld Australia’s proposal is an overhaul of welding apprenticeships; tapping into hidden sources of talent; refocussing STEM training in schools; and investment in TAFEs nationally.
Crittenden said most developed nations were being driven to implement “extraordinary measures” to address the shortage, and Australia should follow.
“Australia does not have the welders to deliver the nation’s critical energy, defence, rail and infrastructure projects. Access to the global supply chain for fabricated steel products will be a high-risk, expensive proposition,” said Crittenden.
While our governments can wish, and hope, and make public pledges about funding for Australia’s transition to renewable energy and other major infrastructure projects that create jobs, we simply do not have the sovereign manufacturing capability to make this a reality.”
Picture credit: Weld Australia