Pay rises for Australian manufacturing workers


Seventy-six per cent of Australia’s manufacturing employers will give their staff a pay rise of up to three per cent in their next review, but seven per cent will not increase salaries at all, according to Hays Manufacturing & Operations.

The annual Hays Salary Guide shows that 15 per cent of employers intend to award a salary increase of between three and six per cent.

Just two per cent of employers will increase salaries at the higher level of more than six per cent.

“The value of the Australian dollar has stimulated manufacturing growth and more companies are bringing manufacturing back in-house,” said Tim James, director of Hays Manufacturing & Operations.

“While the demise of the automotive sector continues, there are many positive stories of talent successfully transferring into other industries and facets of manufacturing. One is the Victorian Government’s ‘back to work’ scheme. Another is the number of SMEs in South Australia that have embraced diversification, resulting in new headcount creation across skilled blue collar and senior management roles in the latter half of 2016.”

According to James, the food manufacturing industry has also seen positive changes, with salaries increasing and demand rising, particularly for production and operational managers. However, many companies are now employing a “lean manufacturing” strategy, which emphasises efficiency and cost management.

“Rather than replace resigning staff, organisations instead consolidate or distribute responsibilities within the supply chain. This can be a risky strategy if not carefully considered as it can create further challenges to employee engagement, productivity and retention levels,” said James.

“But it doesn’t necessarily spell doom and gloom for jobs; it can be a very effective method of supporting growth and increasing employment opportunities long-term. The drive towards leaner methodologies and diversification has also seen salaries increase for change management professionals in maintenance and at mid-management levels.”

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