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The Evolution of Skills in Infrastructure

The Infrastructure industry is facing unprecedented change, thanks to rapid advances in technology, an increase in the complexity of projects and an increasing demand for soft skills.

High volumes of activity are already creating significant skills shortages, while the increased digitalisation of the sector and the emergence of Industry 4.0 processes means the sector will require a significant influx of new workers over the next decade, and extensive reskilling of current workers.

The Evolution of Skills in Infrastructure: Thought Leadership Report offers a pragmatic exploration of workforce transformation. While change is inevitable, it is how organisations respond to these changes that determines future success.


"The velocity of change is really challenging most parts of the marketplace."

Adam Beck - Executive Director, Smart Cities Council


Current state

The infrastructure sector is experiencing high volumes of work in industries such as mining, housing and transportation, with NSW accounting for 40% of total infrastructure spending by all Australia’s states and territories in 2017-18*

The sector faces challenges in attracting new workers, especially female workers, and an aging workforce

Digitalisation of processes and equipment requires an immediate increase in digital literacy

Future skills

Emerging technologies will require specialist roles, such as data analysts and mechatronic engineers

Different providers and agencies will need to interact seamlessly, necessitating improved soft skills such as systems thinking, collaboration and problem solving

Emerging technologies, such as IoT sensors, autonomous drones and vehicles, augmented reality simulators and building information modelling (BIM) systems will require both the reskilling of existing employees and the creation of new roles


Promote opportunities to younger workers and employ structured career development programs to create a pipeline of future skills

Raise digital literacy across the workforce to create a base for eLearning skills development programs to enhance the uptake of emerging technologies

Develop cross-skilling programs to enhance existing skillsets, and also work with technical staff to enhance soft skills and capabilities