Professional body Weld Australia says that the results of a member survey conducted last month show delivery of the federal government’s renewable energy plans is “almost impossible” due to skills shortages and other challenges.
Weld Australia’s annual survey took responses from more than 130 companies. The organisation’s CEO, Geoff Crittenden, said it indicated that, “Labour shortages, and the rising cost of materials, energy and labour remain high on the agenda for the welding industry.
“Without funding and support from governments at all levels, these challenges will make it nearly impossible for industry to deliver the necessary manufacturing capability required for the Federal Government’s ambitious renewable energy revolution.”
The latter was cited as evidence the welding industry was taking measures to address skills shortages. Weld Australia predicts that the nation will have a shortfall of 70,000 welders by 2030 unless this is addressed.
The emissions reduction targets will require massive investments in wind, water and solar generation, as well as storage – a predicted 90 gigawatts, 39 gigawatts, 18.7 gigawatts, and 35.9 gigawatt hours respectively by 2050 – and Australia “simply [does] not have the sovereign manufacturing capability to make this a reality,” said Crittenden.
“…75 [per cent] of the welding and fabrication industry believes that Australia’s governments are not doing anywhere near enough to support industry in achieving these targets. Our governments will need to consider policy and funding opportunities, reduce red tape and regulatory barriers, and support local investment to enable the renewable energy transition,” he added.
“Without a massive investment in fabrication and steelmaking facilities, skills and training in each state, and real, practical support for local industry, Australia’s renewable energy revolution will simply not be a reality.”
The survey results can be accessed here.
Picture: credit Weld Australia