Voice of industry takes centre stage in manufacturing skills events

Four hundred and sixty industry employers and representatives joined the national discussion for ways to deliver modern manufacturing through a skilled workforce.

Following the government’s recent announcement of the Modern Manufacturing Strategy, Senator Michaelia Cash introduced the webinar series and set the challenge to industry to provide relevant and timely advice to help deliver the skills-led economic recovery.

The ten-day event was delivered by national skills standards developer, IBSA Manufacturing.

IBSA Group CEO Sharon Robertson, said it was encouraging to hear informative discussions around sector-specific skills needed to move forward.

“The diversity of participants and the organisations they represent, has enabled us to capture thinking from a large cross section of the manufacturing industry at an important time,” she said.

“We will be continuing these conversations into 2021 and the aim is to use the outcomes to inform government thinking and priority area roadmaps, the VET sector and industry in general.”

The engagement shown by stakeholders from the manufacturing and training sectors has further demonstrated how a strong industry voice is integral to the vocational and education training system.

Each of the six Manufacturing Industry Reference Committees, charged with helping develop industry qualifications, set the scene for discussions with a broad range of industry about the skills needed to deliver modern manufacturing, also encompassing the actions needed to rebuild the Australian economy.

The preliminary findings found the major themes across all the events included the importance of national and industry collaboration, digitisation, supply chains and non-technical skills such as project management and critical thinking.

The response by industry to discuss its skills and training needs, demonstrated that these types of forums are critical in shaping workforces of the future.

The content of the discussions is being evaluated and supplemented by additional interviews and surveys. An industry leader roundtable will be held in 2021 to review the outcomes.

Comprehensive insights from these conversations will be published early in 2021.