Australia’s manufacturing renaissance represents the ideal opportunity to modernise the skills and qualifications for the sector, national workforce planners have said in response to plans to revitalise Australian industry detailed in last night’s Budget.
National skills developers IBSA Manufacturing, who engage with industry and the training sector to develop skills standards and qualifications, has welcomed the Federal Government’s $1.5 billion investment in Australian manufacturing.
“This investment, on top of the additional $1.2 billion allocated for skills training through direct investment in apprenticeships, creates a rare confluence of opportunity for industry,’’ IBSA Manufacturing CEO Sharon Robertson said.
Robertson said measures such as the $52.3 million Skills for Education and Employment Program, $29.6 million for the Careers Institute and a focus on improving the priority of STEM in schools would improve the skills of young people coming through the rapidly changing manufacturing sector now and in the future.
“The fact that these major stimulus events are landing at the same time shows that the Government clearly understands how critical vocational education and training will be in helping manufacturers and employers act quickly to rebuild the economy and turn learners into workers of the future,’’ she said.
“The success of this investment, as the Prime Minister has pointed out, will rely on us all rowing in the same direction to restore our sovereign manufacturing capability,’’ Robertson said.
IBSA Manufacturing and Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) have convened a virtual planning event for later this month to discuss how the VET system can meet the demands presented by the COVID recovery project and the ongoing evolution of manufacturing, especially through digitisation and AI.
“Manufacturers and employers will need to act quickly to plan their international competitiveness and identify the skills they need to make that happen,’’ Ms Robertson said.
“We can’t waste this opportunity by having too great a lag time between the modernisation of the sector and the workforce.’’