REWARDING CAREER: Rebecca Blines and Ashlea O'Reilly have gone against the grain by finding work as engineers at Anglo American's Grasstree Mine.
REWARDING CAREER: Rebecca Blines and Ashlea O'Reilly have gone against the grain by finding work as engineers at Anglo American's Grasstree Mine.

CQUni professor debunks claims of engineer shortages

WITH claims of a crippling shortage of local engineers in the air, a local CQUniversity professor says this news is nothing new.

CQUniversity Rockhampton Dean of Engineering and Technology professor Col Greensill said mining giants want to recruit more foreign workers is the result of a downturn in engineering education across Australia.

"Since the mining industry has come back from its downturn there has been a shortage of engineers," he said.

"During the last boom there was a shortage of staff too.

"When the mining industry cools off they don't have the jobs for them, so the engineers go elsewhere."

He said they are finding students are going for the slightly easier option, "professions that are a little more trendy and easier to get through".

CQUniversity Rockhampton Dean of Engineering and Technology Professor Col Greensill.
CQUniversity Rockhampton Dean of Engineering and Technology Professor Col Greensill. Contributed

"They are not coming into the harder science or engineering courses despite the rewards and pay levels at the end," he said.

"Generally the students are getting their vocational advice from their parents. Parents are looking at nice long-lived professions that are going to give a steady income.

"The mining sector fluctuates so much that its popularity has declined in regional Queensland. It's finding it hard to recruit university educated workers because of that."

He said engineering was a valuable career path students should consider because it is essential to national development.

"Everything we have, new roads, new technology, new cars, everything is dependent on engineers," he said.

"It is a fun profession because it is so broad and you can go into so many different areas.

"It does require four years at least at university to get the qualifications you need. But it is a profession for life and a very rewarding profession," he said.

How to apply

Prospective engineering students can apply for CQUniversity courses through the Queensland Tertiary Admissions Centre (QTAC) via www.qtac.edu.au/ or if they are an Alumnus who has previously graduated from CQUni they can explore engineering course options and apply online via handbook.cqu.edu.au



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