UPSKILL: Susan Kreemer Pickford (left) and Alexandra Sparvell are positive about the job opportunities available for chartered engineers. Photo: Attila Csaszar

Unemployed engineers chart a new course

WA continues to experience falls in available jobs for engineers, prompting many to take up chartered qualifications.


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Engineers Australia is loving this situation: they, along with the government, have kept Engineering on the critical skills shortage list, even now as so many engineers are out of work. Their solution to those engineers? Pay Engineers Australia for an accreditation that really doesn't change you or your ability. It's so close to extortion (you've got a lovely job here, you'd better pay us for a credential so you're safer than you are now). I'd drop them if I could afford to, but can't. Talk about compulsory Union fees, EA doesn't even offer any services to its members like a Union would, yet we're expected to belong with no other options, unlike other industries where there are multiple choices. They care more about getting more members and getting them to pay more to be recognized for skills they already have than simply providing value to members they had for a very long time.

Touché. In Queensland EA has made it compulsory to be a member to obtain chartered status to obtain a RPEQ certification. It is unionism by default. They have no interest in you unless you belong to a larger company to make it worth their while to argue on your behalf, but you now must join them to be able to practice. They offer no benefits unless you are located in a capital city and work for a large company. EA is pushing to bring their accreditation in Australia wide as a prerequisite for engineering practice

Sue - you can get registered through the Association of Professional Engineers Australia's RPEng scheme for the half the cost and with heaps of additional benefits. It's a much better deal for engineers and meets all the statutory requirements for registration.

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