ANU’s innovation answer to trades shortage

At ANU people are innovating more with fewer resources, explained by DVC Marnie Hughes Warrington in the new entry to her chronicle of the campus build. She writes of construction techniques that are safer, of the beauty and innovation efficiency of big timber buildings, of creating facades off-site for simpler installation in a ways that save the backs of brikies. Above all, she writes with respect for the people who make buildings happen in a time of skills shortage – a shortage born in part from attitudes about training as being less than education.

“Every building completion reflects a struggle to secure, retain, recognise and reward skilled workers. It’s a façade that glosses the treatment of the vocational sector as the poor cousin of university education, and the presumption that some skills are future and others are past,” she writes.

“While some people are waiting for skilled tradespeople to materialise in Australia a faraway miracle, construction teams are getting on with it. They have to. They are not, however, just making do. Shortages drive innovation and should be formally recognised as part of the innovation cycle.”


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