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Australia's mining industry contributes
AU$121 billion to the country's
economy each year. Despite this huge
figure, a report released in 2014 by
PricewaterhouseCoopers listed Australia
as the second least productive mining
region in the world, second only to Africa.
Our mining boom of recent years
set the scene for volume strategies
that neglected true efficiency for people
Worldwide the industry's open cut
equipment productivity has declined by
20% over the past seven years despite
the demand for increased volumes. As a
result, Australia's declining productivity is
one of the most important challenges for
Australia is the fastest growing
nation in the Organisation for Economic
Cooperation and Development (OECD),
with strong growth projections for the next
40 years. As the population ages, we will
see a reduction in the available workforce
to retired persons ratio by almost two
people in the same time period.
So what does this mean for the
geospatial industry and how do we redress
the productivity and workforce shortfall
in Australia? We cannot keep doing things
as they've always been done and expect a
different outcome, so the solution lies in
smarter technology and helping to empower
the next generation of Australia's workforce:
Gen Y, otherwise known as the 'Millennials.'
Gen Y or the Millennials were born
between 1980 and 2000 and they are
now entering Australia's workforce in
vast numbers. This generation will work
to support a significantly larger older
generation as life expectancy increases.
What drives and motivates this
generation in their career development
differs greatly from previous generations.
For Millennials, the opportunity for rapid
career progression and to widen their
experience are often viewed as more
important than salary alone.
This generation also sees technology as
a key factor in their choice of employer,
with 59% of respondents in a PwC survey
noting that the provision of state-of-the-
art technology was important to them.
Gen Ys are great at working
collaboratively in a team environment,
they excel at multitasking and have
a thirst for new experiences and
information. They also crave feedback and
praise for a job well done, whilst tending
to resist the structured work environment
in favour of increased flexibility and a
more dynamic, relaxed workspace.
If their career development needs
aren't met, Millennials are swift to move
on to new opportunities and are less
loyal to their employer than previous
generations, making the best of them
difficult to find and even harder to keep.
Geospatial employers need to respond
to their needs with regular feedback and
rewards for their Gen Y employees. They
must also encourage innovation and
challenge Gen Ys to streamline processes,
exercise their creativity and collaborate
and network with their peers.
A robust mentoring program between
senior management and the younger
employees will also help to bridge the
generational divide and keep Gen Ys
engaged and motivated.
And last but certainly not least, geospatial
companies need to embrace the latest
technology and task their young employees
to constantly find newer and better ways to
increase efficiency and productivity.
A constant state of change
Most of us are acutely aware of, even
overwhelmed and intimidated by, the
rapid development of technology in today's
world. Not only is technology being
developed at an ever-increasing pace,
it is also being adopted more quickly.
Television took 13 years to become
mainstream; Facebook took nine months!
Every year the TVs get bigger, computers
get faster and the world becomes more
connected than ever before.
The rate of smartphone adoption
among international users has out-paced
the 1980s PC revolution, the 1990s Internet
boom and the social networking craze.
In the geospatial industry, we've
seen dramatic changes to technology
advancement, particularly in the last
20 years with the development of
electronic distance measurement (EDM),
robotic total stations and the ability to
capture mass data.
The first laser scanning technology
was introduced in the late 1990s and
now 3D laser scanners are lighter, faster,
smaller, cheaper and easier to use. As a
result, the technology is becoming more
widespread and adopted by multiple
industries as complimentary technology
such as 3D printing is democratised.
New handheld laser scanning technology
opens up the possibilities yet further, with
design, engineering and architectural
professionals eager to streamline their
workflow with technology.
Leap, or be dragged
How Gen Y will span the technological divide and reshape productivity
30 position February/March 2016
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