Australia: Australian Government’s National VET E-Learning Strategy supported a pilot project to boost entrants into the spatial information industry and raise skill levels for technicians through greater use of e-learning in the vocational education and training sector.
Project director George Havakis said, “Surveying and geospatial technologies and services have been identified as the key to Australia’s future productivity. However, there is a wide spread and serious skills shortage in all sectors of the industry at all technical levels, and with decreasing numbers of graduates from universities; this is expected to get worse.
“The skills shortage not only affects the mainstream surveying and geospatial industry but also other major industries such as local government, mining, infrastructure, emergency services and utilities, who are major surveying and geospatial users and where the use of these technologies, data and services underpin many of their routine processes and workflow.”
Havakis further explained that the decline of certificate courses available in both urban and rural areas was creating additional pressures for industry and removed the opportunity for students to select surveying or geospatial courses as a career.
“Developing an e-learning program through the VET sector has the potential to deliver training anywhere, any time,” he added.
The project is being supported by a consortium of peak industry bodies, spatial organisations and companies, including the Spatial Industries Business Association, the Surveying and Spatial Sciences Institute, the Spatial Information Council, the Queensland Spatial Information Council, the Council of the Reciprocating Surveyors Boards of Australia and New Zealand, the Intergovernmental Committee on Surveying and Mapping, the Co-operative Research Centre for Spatial Information and the Office of Spatial Policy.