Peak bodies welcome ‘future workforce’ report

By on 26 April, 2022

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/Yuttana Studio

Two of Australia’s surveying and spatial sciences peak bodies have welcomed a national call to address workforce challenges for the surveying and spatial workforce with a more targeted, collaborative strategy across the sector. 

The Surveying & Spatial Sciences Institute (SSSI) and the Spatial Industries Business Association (SIBA|GITA) congratulate The Surveyors’ Trust for commissioning the report, ‘The Australian Surveying and Spatial Workforce – A National Roadmap,’ and support the proposed recommendations.

Both organisations have said they agree with the report’s observations and the approach needed to address the problems.

Within the geospatial sector there is an absence of national competency frameworks for all disciplines and poor uptake of certification and micro-credentialling for practitioners needing specific in demand skills once they have graduated from tertiary or VET courses.

The recommendations for creating a stronger pipeline of skilled professionals are based around five key initiatives:

  1. Creation of a national taskforce to shape workforce development programs
  2. Biennial comprehensive environmental scans
  3. Development of national competency frameworks for all relevant disciplines
  4. Development of a taxonomy of occupations and incorporation into ANZCO and industry defined occupations
  5. Development of a national skills and career pathway.

The report presents a surveying and spatial workforce roadmap and a high-level strategy for a national call to action to address workforce challenges being faced today and in the future.

It says the industry needs to remove silos to focus collectively on attracting, developing and retaining a current workforce and supporting career advancement.

SIBA|GITA Chair Alistair Byrom said workforce planning and development had emerged as critical issues for the geospatial sector.

“SIBA|GITA is collaborating with SSSI on plans to ensure the future growth of Australia’s surveying and spatial sector is secured by a skilled workforce,” said Byrom.

“As the need for surveying and spatial services and technology increases, workforce planning and development will be increasingly pivotal to ensuring the sector has access to the right skills and capability mix needed to meet demand.

“Australia needs a relevant and skilled surveying and spatial industry workforce to be assured of a thriving industry in the immediate and emerging future.”

SSSI President Paul Digney said for innovation and growth within the geospatial sector to occur we need to invest in our workforce and commit to building industry capacity and capability.

‘This report has highlighted that if we don’t accelerate action, we will continue to experience significant skills shortages and expertise if a co-ordinated approach is not taken to address this,’ said Digney.

“It is a wake-up call to the geospatial sector. We must act on the recommendations put forward or risk our sector not reaching its full potential.”

SSSI and SIBA|GITA are currently in the member consultation phase for a proposed merger later this year.

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