Developing a Digital Competencies Framework (20.RP4.0041)

Challenge –

Digital innovations are becoming widespread in almost every industry, and the energy sector has not been immune to this.  The sector generates data at an astounding rate, and these datasets represent critical assets that can enable transformations from improved efficiency, effectiveness and safety of operations to reduced environmental footprint and even business model disruption.

Leveraging these datasets and achieving efficiencies across the value chain will hinge on the ability of the workforce to use digital technologies effectively.  But it is increasingly being realised that the industry’s workers have very uneven levels of proficiency where digital skills are concerned, and the sector needs to significantly upgrade its current skills and competencies.

Program 4: Developing a Digital Competencies Framework

Understanding the proficiency of the energy sector workforce across key digital competencies – including data engineering, data science, networks required for the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, automation and robotics, and cyber security systems is a critical component of our future success.  The aim of this project is to analyse the current workforce and develop a digital competencies framework for the industry.  This can be used to diagnose significant skill gaps and target the development of the required competencies within Australian energy industry’s engineers, operators and technicians.

Phase 1 will map the skills and competencies that Australia’s energy industry will require through the next 5–10 years, combining context-specific information from energy industry practitioners with perspectives from learning and training professionals in other sectors that have made significant advancements in upskilling their workforces for digital innovation.  This competency framework will identify the skills and competencies required in the short- medium- and long-term in the industry, for groups ranging from graduates and managers to engineering and accounting professionals.

Once this framework is created, Phase 2 of the project will create an online survey that people can use to assess their skill level, tailored to the needs of each target working group.  This can be used to identify skills gaps for individuals and groups within a business.  As the survey is used, the growing data set will also be used to identify emerging trends across the industry, providing a group-by-group breakdown of upskilling opportunities.

A final phase of the project will then prescribe specific remedies and training opportunities that each identified working group can do to address the skills gaps identified, using commercially available resources.  Customised learning modules can also be designed and delivered where an identified need cannot be met by existing training opportunities.

Partners: Queensland University of Technology, Asset Institute and Future Energy Exports CRC

Project Researchers: Professor Robert K. Perrons, Professor Kevin C. Desouza, Dr Jose H.P. Rodrigues, Professor Kerry Brown, Associate Professor Ferry Jie, Associate Professor Hadrian Djajadikerta, Dr Dave West

Duration: 3 years

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