Local skills need local projects: Hunter manufacturer

The managing
director of Warners Bay-based Cowan Manufacturing has called the Hunter’s
conditions the worst seen in 50 years, due to a shortage of major infrastructure
projects.

The
Newcastle Herald
reports that Bob Cowan, managing director of Cowan Manufacturing,
has said the shortage of projects has seen local skills disappear and a number
of companies go bust. Cowan’s company has had 20 redundancies in the last eight
months.

“We have dropped
our workforce like everyone else but we are fortunate to still do a lot of
military and defence work and we’ve just won another export contract, but it’s
extremely concerning,” he told the Herald.

“I can’t see
enough being done to improve infrastructure in the region which creates
employment. There is nothing even short-term for youth coming out of school in
apprenticeships and that is of great concern – we’ve already been through
skills shortages and we’ll have them again, if we are not careful.”

Cowan advised
governments to procure locally, conceding that this might be at a premium but
would support local companies and skills.

Cowan Manufacturing’s business includes specialist welding, general metal fabrication and the manufacture and installation of decompression and recompression chambers.

 

Image: cowanmfg.com.au