Workforce of the Future: Skills shortages, technology, workplace culture and diversity

Image Source: Getty Images. How are utilities preparing for the Workforce of the Future? What will be the impact of retirees walking out the door?

In October and November we are exploring the topic: Workforce of the Future.

There are so many themes we could cover so we are diving into the areas that are the hardest to unravel for the water industry. Look out for our events, content and guest speakers over the next few weeks as we look outside the box for novel ideas that address workforce challenges.

A few topics of interest are:

Specialist engineering skills shortages

All over the world, aging assets like dams and bridges are being upgraded and new assets are being built to cater for rapid urbanisation. These upgrades and new projects are worth billions of dollars but according to research by Deloitte and the World Economic Forum, companies are struggling to recruit engineers with enough experience to manage these projects. How will utilities and consultancies fulfill on projects in the face of the engineering skills shortage?

Image source: Department of employment, Australian Government, 2020

Retiring baby boomers

We need to bridge the gap between the knowledgeable retirees leaving the industry and the younger, digital native generation who lack applied experience. Are we ready to help our long-termers make a transition out of the workforce? And as job demand in one area grows or shrinks, how do we re-skill or upskill workers who aren’t ready to go?

Competing for new talent and shifting workplace culture

How do we attract the new generation of the water workforce in all areas of an organisation? The demographics and demands of our workers are already shifting, so a ‘culture by design’ will be critical to building an inclusive and resilient environment for our workers to stay and grow with a utility.

Smarter working with technology

From hands-off working using assistive machinery or remote monitoring tools, to better data utilisation of our connected sites. The future is exciting but there are still hurdles to overcome before the industry can maximise this potential.

Stay tuned, subscribe to the Future Water podcast for new episode notifications and be on the lookout for a special event in the coming weeks.

What is top of mind for your utility when it comes to creating the water workforce of the future? What are you bumping up against? What are you looking at in terms of solutions? We’d love to hear from you.

AquaLAB is shaping the digital future of water.