The Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) is celebrating a successful 12 months since merging with the Engineering Employers Association South Australia (EEASA).
According to Ai Group director South Australia, Stephen Myatt, “It’s been a year of growth and development for local industry.”
“During the past year, Ai Group SA branch has welcomed a significant number of new members into our organisation which has diversified and increased our membership,” he said.
“A major advantage for local companies has been the opportunity to call on Ai Group’s expertise through seminars, training and consultancy services that were perhaps not readily available under the narrower footprint of EEASA.”
According to Myatt, national companies who are members of Ai Group elsewhere and have a local branch, have been enjoying a co-ordinated and consistent level of service across their organisation.
“Over the past 12 months we’ve been actively representing business and advocating good policy. For example, our push for an Industry Participation Policy is currently being considered by the State Government,” he said.
“We were also instrumental in partnering with the State Government to deliver the first manufacturing Thinker in Residence, Professor Goran Roos, who will take up his appointment in January 2011. This initiative will help set future directions for manufacturers in South Australia.
“We remain committed to representing members’ interests in a number of the important areas including workers compensation, taxation, business red tape and OHS issues.”
Looking ahead, there are a number of challenges for industry, Myatt says.
“For the manufacturing sector in particular, we need to look at how to support the numerous mining, defence and infrastructure projects. An adequately skilled workforce is crucial if we are to meet these requirements and we need to ensure local companies are given a fair opportunity to participate in these projects,” he said.
“The merger of the Engineering Employers Association Group Training Scheme with Ai Group Training Services (AiGTS) will continue to play an important role in addressing the skills challenge. AiGTS nationally now has more than 500 apprentices under contracts of training from Perth to Brisbane and this will help fill the skills gap anticipated by forthcoming.”