My 5 predictions for manufacturing in Australia in 2014

A New Year has begun and most economists and media are providing their forecasts for 2014.

We are neither of these things; however I thought it worthwhile to spend some time thinking about trends in 2014, based upon my industry contacts and interpretation of events.

I make no predictions about currency or political behaviours, they are outside our control so we have to play the cards we are dealt. There are a few broad predictions I make which can directly influence your decision making.

Here are 5 of them for you to consider.

1. Manufacturing turnover will continue to increase as it has done since the GFC.
2. Businesses that supply the construction and infrastructure sectors will see opportunities for growth
3. Manufacturing employment will remain level or continue to reduce as companies defer reemploying people, or have no need due to continuous improvement programs
4. With the withdrawal of government training subsidies business will do what it should have always done and evaluate training based upon clear return on investment, not just certificates and the desire to provide training.

The last is a hunch, more than an evidenced based prediction.

5. Unions which are under pressure for revenue and access will seek to gain members in smaller companies. I believe that mid-tier firms which may have been below the radar for union interest need to be prepared for an increase in organising activity.

These are my personal thoughts and it will be interesting to see what develops.

My outlook is very positive for the industry.

What are your thoughts about the issues in 2014?


Jason Furness is the CEO of Manufacturship, a training and consulting company that specialises in helping manufacturers boost their cash flow.

(This article originally appeared at

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