News, insights and perspectives

June 2020

Realising more human value from the new world we work in

By Priyani de-Silva Currie


In my series of articles on Asset Management practice in our changing world I have focused on the economic perspective, and the challenges and benefits we are facing now and into the future. Today I want to discuss the scarcity of human resources within our field of asset management - it’s a known fact there aren’t enough of us!


I will start by stating that we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to change the way we look at our talent pool, both current and emerging. When can you last remember having new graduates locked into New Zealand for the short to medium term with country borders shut? Wouldn’t it be obvious that now is the time for our organisations - public and private - to snap up these fresh, newly skilled workers and find ways to grow and retain them within New Zealand for as long as we can? Isn’t that our responsibility as stewards and custodians of the future?


As we embark on ‘shovel ready projects’ we should also invest in a ‘shovel ready workforce’. There is great potential to retrain professionals who have been using similar sets of skills to asset managers in another industry, perhaps who are now in the job market and who we can attract to our discipline? We know that our current asset managers come from a variety of backgrounds - economic, engineering, planning, operations, finance, risk, customer engagement – to name a few. Asset Management covers many fields.


There is increased urgency and demand in our workforce to replenish the stocks of our human capital over the next decade, as our valued experienced public works professionals are nearing retirement. We absolutely need asset managers in our regions and our towns and cities. Let’s not run to fail or enact just in time methodology here. Instead, let’s invest proactively in the skills and capacity of our people to help navigate the challenges and hurdles we face in our new world. We need to adopt a lifecycle approach with an eye firmly on our future.


Our role as Asset Management practitioners is to raise the awareness of Asset Management as a career, train new people and advocate for the industry.  At Just Add Lime, we are proud to be involved in the development of the qualification that supports Asset Managers, as well as coaching and mentoring Asset Managers new to the profession. So do get in touch if we can help with transition of someone to your organisation - this is an opportunity we all need to act on.

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