Fears skill shortages may delay Australia’s renewable progress


With Australia’s unemployment rate down to 3.5%, its lowest since 1974, there are fears the struggle to find workers will impact Albanese government’s $20 billion Rewiring the Nation program. The policy is at the heart of the new government’s decarbonisation vision as it seeks to massively upgrade transmission networks to unlock new renewable generation and ultimately get the national grid to 82% renewables by 2030.

At the Clean Energy Summit currently happening in Sydney, Goldwind Australia director John Titchen pointed to the issue, saying the ability to find workers to deliver such projects is a real challenge in the current climate.

“We’re at full employment now – 3.5% – so the constraint on our workforce, how are we going to solve that?” Titchen said.

“How many people are we going to need in order to drive this growth? We’re going to be competing for those people with other sectors. That’s a challenge. 

“We’ll battle through any specific supply chain issues with equipment, but the issue is more going to be on the local front.”

pv magazine Australia has previously reported on the struggle Australian installers have had finding and retaining staff, an issue which has impacted companies across the board. The shortages have recently become so pronounced installers are having to systematically turn down jobs because they don’t have enough staff to complete them.

The renewable energy industry is far from the only sector in Australia reporting skill shortages, but as the appetite for clean energy investments grows in Australia, the lack of personnel could throw up roadblocks. This is of course coupled with the ongoing supply chain issues which are impacting the sector globally.

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