Bridging the gap in professional development

By Angela Dorizas

The Australian Institute of Management (AIM) has joined forces with Infrastructure Australia to bridge a gap in the professional development offering for infrastructure professionals.

AIM has developed a new master class in proposal development to improve the standard of infrastructure planning and delivery.

David Wakeley, chief executive of AIM NSW & ACT, said there was a noticeable gap in the professional development offering relating to infrastructure business case development.

“That is why our program will focus specifically on the strategic planning process,” Mr Wakeley told Government News.

“If Australian infrastructure professionals are to remain globally competitive, it’s important that they remain up-to-date and abreast of the changing infrastructure landscape.”

Mr Wakeley said reconstruction efforts in disaster-affected areas, such as Queensland and Victoria, would put additional pressure on the industry and increase demand for training and development.

“The infrastructure reconstruction in Queensland is going to be astronomical,” he said.

“Queensland is going to need a lot of people with infrastructure planning and infrastructure development skills, both from a managerial and blue-collar point of view.”

Mr Wakeley said there was very strong interest in the course within government. A number of departments and agencies have enrolled in the master class, including the Department of Premier and Cabinet; Department of Planning; Department of Infrastructure and Transport; Department of Family, Housing, Community Services & Indigenous Affairs; Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research; Department of Transport, Energy and Infrastructure; and the City of Swan.

The two-day master class includes presentations from a range of industry experts, such as: Dr Flavio Romano, senior economist at Infrastructure Australia; Stephen Alchin, executive director of Infrastructure Australia; Dr David Cochrane and Oliver Jones from Ernst & Young; Dr Kerry Schott, managing director of Sydney Water and advisory council member of Infrastructure Australia; Paul Roe, director of policy and planning at Infrastructure Australia; and Ray Wilson, founding director of Plenary Group.
“There are a lot of great presenters,” Mr Wakeley said.

“It’s not our standard faculty that’s presenting at this course.”

Course participants will learn from industry experts, apply new ideas through MBA-style group work and deliver a final presentation to a panel of specialists.

The course covers a number of topics, including: building a more robust infrastructure business case; applying key global trends and issues, policies and frameworks; taking a strategic approach to risk and stakeholder management; articulating key economic, environmental, social and financial strategies for infrastructure projects; understanding assessment tools and criteria and how these are applied; and identifying appropriate funding strategies.

“The program represents the best that Australia has to offer in terms of both the delivery of training and the expertise available,” Mr Wakeley said.

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