Australia is in the midst of an unprecedented boom in infrastructure.
A strong pipeline of major infrastructure projects is essential to boosting the economy, enhancing productivity and improving the lives of communities across the country.
However, the growing need for quality infrastructure is playing out against a backdrop of climate anxiety, rising interest rates, increasing government debt, skills shortages and global geopolitical shifts and tensions.
With significant investment already starting to flow toward bolstering Australia’s national security, the question remains — how can government and industry mobilise to meet demand?
A significant pipeline of opportunity
Over the next four years, the Federal Government will invest more than $19 billion toward the immediate priorities identified in the Defence Strategic Review.
The $300 billion allocated to the AUKUS plan for Australia to acquire and manufacture nuclear-powered submarines is anticipated to create 20,000 direct jobs over the next 30 years.
This is in addition to the billions of funding allocated toward north base infrastructure and long-range strike capabilities.
With these significant pipelines of investment on the horizon, and a capable workforce needed to deliver them, government and industry need to seize every opportunity available to rapidly scale up capacity and make the most of the transferable skills at hand.
Redeploy transferable skills
There is a major benefit to deploying the skills and capability currently working across major complex infrastructure projects to meet demand.
For instance, The APP Group is helping to tackle Australia’s most complex projects and challenges across a range of sectors.
Market leading consultants, engineers and technical experts have been providing services for many of Australia’s property infrastructure mega-projects such as the $11 billion North East Link, West Gate Tunnel, Cross River Rail, Tonkin Gap, Sydney Metro, John Hunter Health and Innovation Precinct, Geelong Port, and the Western Renewables Link in Victoria.
There is a significant opportunity here to translate these skills and extensive capabilities over to assist with the forward Defence pipeline.
The demand for skilled workers is higher than supply, so it will not always be possible to employ someone new to do the work or solely rely on workers from overseas.
Instead, many organisations already have access to the talent they need. Getting the best out of the current workforce will be key to fostering capacity, productivity and sustainability across the industry.
A trusted partner for Defence
In a recently announced transaction, The APP Group acquired Terra Schwartz, a Canberra-based Defence consultancy that specialises in contract management, procurement, project and program management, ICT, application development, and contingent workforce solutions.
The APP Group’s Chief Executive Defence, Mat Bradley, said, “This strategic investment further unlocks our capacity to partner with Defence and future project opportunities. Drawing upon the combined strength of our multi-disciplinary consultant network, we bring expertise across the full Defence Capability Lifecycle with a particular focus on providing an Australian owned and operated perspective with industry best practice.”
The challenges for the capability and capacity of Australia’s infrastructure workforce are clear. But by acting early and by acting strategically, government and industry together can find solutions to help deliver this once in a lifetime investment pipeline in the years to come.
Since 1990, The APP Group has provided market-leading advice with the latest industry insights to support the delivery of Defence capability and infrastructure which play a critical role in Defence and national security. Learn more: https://www.app.com.au/defence.