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Budget will heighten skilled engineer shortages

17 May 2007
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Budget 2007 will heighten grave skilled engineer shortages

Today’s Budget announcements will exacerbate the already grave shortages of professional engineers says Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand Chief Executive Dr Andrew Cleland.

Dr Cleland says that Government may not have taken into account the resource that is needed to meet their goals for economic transformation.

He said: “Budget announcements on research and development tax incentives as well as the extra investment in infrastructure, public transport and energy programmes will significantly increase the demand for development engineers in a range of companies.

Government cannot rely on private enterprise alone. Investing in Government scholarships which are set at market prices will encourage professional engineers into Masterates and PhDs. This will create the pool of talent that will be required by industry”.

Dr Cleland said that likewise other Government announcements to reduce CO2 emissions will simply not be economically feasible without world class engineering research and development, and detailed engineering analysis to ensure financial capital is spent optimally.

“IPENZ is generally supportive of many of the Budget proposals”, says Dr Cleland. “But is concerned that until the role of engineering in economic and environmental transformation is better recognised, New Zealand is unlikely to make major gains”.

Since 2000, IPENZ has produced considerable evidence that the proportion of professional engineers amongst the tertiary educated workforce is a critical success factor to resolving both economic and environmental issues. New Zealand has one of the lowest proportions of professional engineers in the OECD. The need to attract skilled migrants against strong global demand will continue to be critical for the nation.


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