Manufacturers’ Monthly caught up with Rod Beath, head of product, compliance and assurance learning (Australia) for SAI Global to find out more about the importance of training for the future.
If Australian manufacturers are going to embrace technological advancement on the factory floor – creating a workforce to compliment a flourishing industry is going to be important.
Since pre-COVID times, enterprise centres across the nation are there to give engineers hands-on experience with disruptive technologies and methods that require an upgrade in skills for existing personnel.
Needless to say, with the industry numbers bouncing back in small pockets thanks to the many relief packages handed out, transferring traditional manufacturing into a high-value, cutting-edge generation of creation requires re-evaluation, retraining, reskilling and a fresh new generation of ready-skilled workers.
According to Rod Beath, head of product, compliance and assurance learning (Australia) from SAI Global, manufacturing in Australia does have quite a bit to do in terms of a skill restructure.
“Manufacturing in Australia has been in decline for several decades, so any move to reverse that trend will need to address those challenges as new (often younger) people are brought in to rebuild that workforce,” said Beath. “We are fortunate in Australia to have, generally speaking, well-evolved safety cultures supported by robust legislation which has good alignment with the ISO 45001 WHS Standard. However, risk management and cyber security have not been as front of mind in many manufacturing businesses, particularly the SME’s which make up a large proportion of overall manufacturing in Australia.”
How training fits into the bigger picture
From a SAI Global perspective, the Australian Government has been doing a lot to redress the lack of local manufacturing and the reliance on overseas imports. This has been especially stepped up since the impacts on supply due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A major part SAI Global’s client base is in the manufacturing sector, so any expansion within the sector, it sees it as a positive thing.
“Many of our offerings are designed to meet requirements that are either driven by legislation, standards or industry codes of practice,” said Beath. “As a Certification Body, SAI Global certifies many manufacturing businesses to internationally recognised standards such as the ISO 9001 Quality Management System Standard which came out of the manufacturing industry.”
Beath explained that as a Registered Training Organisation that is also internationally accredited to credential auditors, quality managers, practitioners and leaders, SAI Global’s training takes centre stage in filling skills gaps and ensuring people are equipped with the necessary training to competently and safely take Australia’s manufacturing industry forward into the future.
“We deliver courses that cover several key areas of manufacturing in Australia as well as some which are not specific to any single discipline,” Beath explained. “For example, we deliver food specific courses like Food Safety Supervisor, HACCP (hazard analysis critical control points) as well as Lead Food Safety Auditor and Internal Food Safety Auditor training.”
“We also deliver training in those more transportable skills like the Certificate IV and Diploma in WHS. Work Health and Safety is relevant across all industries, but is critical to any manufacturing operation,” he added.
Courses on offer and what’s the most relevant?
SAI Global offers foundation skills training, implementation and auditing of Quality, OHS, Environmental and Information Security Management Systems – management systems are highly relevant to the manufacturing sector.
“As an example, in the food sector, HACCP teams are a requirement for all but very small food manufacturing businesses. SAI Global trains HACCP team members in the CODEX Alimentarius and then provides ongoing refresher training every three years,” Beath explained. “Any manufacturing business that follows the pathway to certification will need internal auditors, so SAI Global trains individuals on how to conduct such audits and our training also puts the individual on a personal development pathway towards Diplomas in Quality Auditing, Leadership and Management and Work Health and Safety.”
“So, in short, the value to the manufacturing business is assurance that their people are trained, that their business is compliant and the value to the individuals is ongoing personal and professional development with the added bonus of Nationally Recognised qualifications.”
Beath said that there are many courses that those in the manufacturing industry can take but one which has become increasingly relevant to all industry is cyber security.
“SAI Global has an affordable course as an introduction to Information Security Management Systems as well as implementation and auditing of the same,” said Beath. “This first course will take participants through the fundamentals of systematically protecting their valuable IP and personnel records and will lead to developing a process to implement and then audit their own Information Security Management System which can then be subject to Certification for ISO 27001.”
To learn more about how SAI Global helps manufacturers remain competitive, visit: saiassurance.com.au/manufacturing-and-engineering