The Federal Government is undertaking the Australian Energy Employment Report (AEER) survey, in order to gain a deeper understanding of current and future workforce issues in the energy sector, to ensure Australia is equipped for the transition to renewables.
Over 60,000 clean energy jobs could be created in Australia by 2025, most of them in regional areas, including in energy efficiency, management and electrification jobs, as the Federal Government ramps up the transformation to renewable energy.
The AEER survey will engage directly with employers via an online questionnaire and provide a more detailed understanding of current and future workforce issues to support development of the jobs and training crucial to Australia’s energy transformation, as the global race to renewables gathers pace.
Federal Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Chris Bowen, said the report would guide policymakers across governments in their decision making after its release in the middle of each year.
“Australia is going to need thousands of workers every year entering the energy sector to build the massive infrastructure projects our energy grid needs and meet our emissions reduction targets,” Mr Bowen said.
“That’s why we’re supporting energy sector jobs with 10,000 New Energy Apprenticeships, ensuring workers are training in the jobs of the future as we undergo the transformation to a renewable energy superpower.
“But we currently lack the data to forecast accurately how these jobs are changing. The government is addressing this through the long overdue Australian Energy Employment Report, an online national survey of businesses in the energy sector to identify current and future workforce issues.”
The survey has been developed in consultation with industry associations, educational institutions and other key stakeholders to support businesses in the global energy transformation.
“The findings will give federal, state and local governments insights into the energy job market to help develop policies on jobs, skills development and training opportunities, and I encourage energy businesses across the country to participate in this important survey,” Mr Bowen said.
Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Jenny McAllister, said the AEER survey would help inform Australia’s broader energy transformation.
“The AEER will guide businesses right around the country to improve workforce planning and give them the certainty they need to invest,” Ms McAllister said.
“Solid workforce data is long overdue and will support implementation of the national electric vehicle and energy performance strategies being developed and offer a snapshot of workforce diversity to support greater equality.
“This report will help us progress our goal of increasing gender equality in the industry. Women make up less than 39 per cent of the clean energy sector workforce, mapping the workforce opportunities will help us close this gap.”
According to employment projections by the Australian Energy Market Operator, the construction workforce for scheduled renewable generation, storage and transmission projects must increase by 12,000 across Australia’s eastern states by 2025.
Around 31,000 extra workers will be needed by then if Australia is to realise its goal of becoming a major exporter of green hydrogen.
The Clean Energy Council has welcomed the survey and is encouraging employers to contribute before the deadline.
Clean Energy Council Chief Executive, Kane Thornton, said, “The AEER will go a long way to ensuring the clean energy sector has the workforce required to deliver the 141GW of large-scale wind and solar capacity, 63 GW of storage and hydro capacity, and 69GW of small-scale solar and household batteries needed by 2050 to maintain reliability and keep prices down.
“Addressing current and growing labour shortages and skills gaps requires a genuine collaboration between governments, community, agencies and development bodies, the education sector, and the clean energy industry.
“We don’t have time to waste. Opportunity comes knocking once in a generation. This is our generation’s opportunity to deliver a clean energy future for Australia and set us up to become a global clean energy superpower, creating an extraordinary legacy for Australian workers.”
The AEER survey is available to energy sector employers here until Sunday 30 April 2023.