Engineering and Automotive Skills

Background/context

Recent anecdotal information pointed to problems in the quality and depth of trade skills in the Engineering and Automotive trade skills areas. As trade skills are critical to the Western Australian economy, the local Industry Training Council commissioned a strategic review to understand what was happening in the industry sectors of trade skills. The goal was to clearly identify the issues and suggest solutions to resolve them.

The challenge

  • Developing a formal project methodology to support the strategic review
  • Researching and analysing all key data and statistics relevant to the use of engineering and automotive trade skills in Western Australia
  • Developing and applying an industry survey
  • Facilitating employer focus groups
  • Examining apprenticeship commencements and completions
  • Examining the use of overseas skilled labour on short term visas
  • Creating a formal report and that incorporates actionable recommendations

The JGC Group approach

JGC Group applied standard methodology to its research and analysis work, but also ensured that the team allocated to the work had a strong understanding and background in the specific research area. For the engineering and automotive project the team leader had a strong background in the engineering sector with an initial qualification at the trade level.

  • The team sourced and analysed a broad range of data related to engineering and automotive trade occupations
  • A review was conducted of the level of apprenticeship investment, the quality and relevance of specific trade skills and the use of short term overseas sourced labour
  • Engineering and automotive employers were surveyed throughout Western Australia
  • Employer focus group sessions were conducted to establish the current situation in the State in relation to the engineering and automotive skills base
  • Strategic thinking was applied on how the engineering and automotive sectors in Western Australia could work with government on a range of initiatives to improve the trade skills base

The result

JGC Group identified a serious deterioration in the size and quality of the Western Australian engineering and automotive skills base.

A range of actions designed to address key issues related to apprenticeships, higher level skills training, the growing dependence on short term overseas skilled labour and access and availability of specific skills training have been recommended and these are being applied by the Industry Skills Council.

A digital copy of the full report prepared by JGC Group is available on request from admin@eatc.com.au.