Engineers Australia has called for a comprehensive industry policy as part of a plan to help businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
A policy should focus on strategic engagement with international standard bodies, support for scaling up existing manufacturing industries, development of onshore capabilities for manufacturing and materials supply.
Engineers Australia CEO Dr Bronwyn Evans said COVID-19 has challenged all nations and all industries in every profession.
“Engineers have been part of the healthcare response and are also ready to bring their expertise to bear in support of Australia’s efforts to achieve widespread economic recovery,” she said.
“Encouragingly, it has been experts in all fields of endeavour that governments and communities have turned to for advice and solutions.”
The organisation has released a nine-point economic recovery plan to help businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
There is an opportunity for governments and the private sector to invest in research and development and emerging technologies, industries and careers, according to Evans.
Addressing the immediate need for jobs, leveraging use of existing structures, building resilience, and adapting to new ways of work and innovation have been identified as key priorities.
“Poor supply chain resilience and energy supply uncertainties point to an opportunity to accelerate action to redesign the domestic manufacturing industry and accelerate testing of novel energy system solutions,” Evans said.
“More than ever, a robust, high-speed, low-latency communications network that extends from the cities to the regions is paramount.”
The plan emphasised the importance of identifying and maintaining infrastructure projects to keep engineers and allied professionals employed.
Evans said public and private sector projects should focus on the design phase.
“Without that focus, jobs for design engineers who underpin and enable the construction phases are at risk,” she said.
“Each construction project is preceded by a long design phase that employs thousands of engineers and allied professionals before the first shovel is used.”
For the full nine-point plan please visit the Engineers Australia website to download the report.