The Australian manufacturing Workers’ Union (AMWU) has launched a campaign for a ‘National Manufacturing Plan’ to stem the flow of job losses and ensure high-skilled, high-wage, strong manufacturing for the future.
AMWU national secretary, Paul Bastian, said that close to 125,000 Australian jobs have been lost in manufacturing since the GFC and predictions suggest 85,000 more could be lost in the next five years unless action is taken now to get work back in our factories.
"Manufacturing is being squeezed by the high dollar, the continued fallout from the GFC, increased overseas competition, and lost productivity through a failure to invest in infrastructure, skills and to plan for the future," Bastian added.
The campaign will work towards securing jobs, create new opportunities and skills, to build a thriving industry into future, reports 4-traders.com.
Bastian went on to say that "manufacturing employs nearly one million people directly and many more indirectly, but if we ignore it, it will go away".
A comprehensive national manufacturing plan will help to develop and implement recommendations suggested by the Prime Minister’s manufacturing taskforce, and secure Australia’s manufacturing industry.
Bastian stated that "we need action now through more local content in government procurement, more infrastructure spending, and bringing in a strong anti-dumping regime.
"Every $1 billion dollars invested in infrastructure creates and sustains 10,000 to 15,000 jobs. But unless local jobs and companies are considered to build and supply those infrastructure projects, we miss out on a significant opportunity,” explained Bastian.
According to Bastian "governments can play a larger role in supporting Australian jobs and manufacturing by choosing Australian made cars for their fleets, by building trains, buses, ships and submarines here, and ensuring local businesses get a fair go at supplying large private projects such as those in the mining sector."
Australian manufacturing requires strategic planning and commitment by all parties and leadership by government.
"We can build a smarter manufacturing industry, which in turn will build a smarter Australia. That's very important for the economic prosperity of our nation. But we must act now before we lose that capacity,” Bastian said.