Conference to address skills shortage set to hit manufacturers

QMI Solutions has revealed South-East Queensland could be facing critical skills shortages in less than four years, predicting a shortfall of more than 40,000 jobs – a key issue, which it will address at its upcoming 2011 Manufacturing Skills Conference on June 9, in Brisbane.The shortfall will be exacerbated by the estimated $23bn worth of infrastructure projects taking place across the region, according to the Conference organisers and industry body.

QMI Solutions has revealed South-East Queensland could be facing critical skills shortages in less than four years, predicting a shortfall of more than 40,000 jobs – a key issue, which it will address at its upcoming 2011 Manufacturing Skills Conference on June 9, in Brisbane.

The shortfall will be exacerbated by the estimated $23bn worth of infrastructure projects taking place across the region, according to the Conference organisers and industry body.

The 2011 Manufacturing Skills Conference will include speakers from industry heavyweights such as Atlas Heavy Engineering, Varley Specialty Vehicles, Gladstone Industry Leadership Group, Teys Bros and Worley Parsons.

It is being delivered by QMI Solutions through Manufacturing Skills Queensland (MSQ) – a skills centre of excellence that works closely with the Queensland Government to ensure the long-term competitiveness and capability of the manufacturing and engineering sectors

MSQ also authored a report – The MSQ Industry Skills Report – on the looming skills shortage, in which more than 70 per cent of companies surveyed said they had major difficulty filling vacancies over the last six months.

This trend looks set to continue, with Queensland leading the nation on concerns for vacancy filling for next 12 months. More than 39 per cent of companies reported they do not expect to be able to find people with the specialised skills needed for their workplace.

QMI Solutions CEO Jim Walker said skills are one of the crucial areas the industry needs to address to ensure its survival.

“Manufacturers need to address four key issues to survive: having the right skills to meet demand; ensuring their processes are efficient; having the capability to deliver; and looking for innovative ways to improve business,” Mr Walker said.

“The Conference is a significant industry event which is helping businesses understand the practicalities of these issues in the current environment.”

When it comes to competing in an increasingly competitive jobs market, the manufacturing industry is facing one of its biggest challenges to date according to the MSQ Industry Skills report. For example over 2009-2010, the mining industry’s growth rate was four times that of the manufacturing industry and a second boom is on the horizon

The conference will discuss strategies for coping with the volatility of skills supply and demand, enabling businesses to learn from each other.

Jim Walker said a critical part of handling this demand was targeting young people and encouraging them to choose a manufacturing or engineering career pathway.

“Many of our delegates have impressive programs in place to nurture young talent and we will be discussing this at the conference,” Mr Walker said.As part of the conference there will be an awards night, recognising the young talent rising through the ranks of the manufacturing industry. Categories include Manufacturing Apprentice of the year, Manufacturing Trainee of the year, Manufacturing Indigenous Student of the year, Manufacturing School-based, Apprentice and/or Trainee of the year, School of the year, Manufacturing VET Teacher/Trainer of the year, Registered Training Organisation of the year, Small-medium employer of the year and Large employer of the year.

For more information please visit: www.msq.org.au