Skills Lab industry-based diploma boosts manufacturing 4.0 skills revolution

The manufacturing landscape is at the peak of the global industry 4.0 shift. As the employment focus swings from production to spreading the workforce along a new and complex value chain, OEMs and operators are having to play a dual role as they upskill current workers and keep their competitive edge in a rapidly changing market.

World Economic Forum Research recently suggested 54 per cent of the current workforce will require upskilling by 2022 in order to meet demands created by Industry 4.0, and the manufacturing industry is already seeing the importance of gaining knowledge in these emerging technologies.

To help meet this critical training need, Skills Lab has launched a nationally accredited course to upskill the Australian workforce in the use of smart manufacturing technology and the navigation of a data-driven ecosystem.

Skills Lab has partnered with Ai Group and a number of TAFEs across Australia to deliver the nation’s first industry-based Diploma of Applied technologies, supporting top-tier and mid-market manufacturers in their pursuit of a future focused and innovative workforce.

“This Diploma supports organisations to explore what problems could be solved using technology. As such, this is an incredibly exciting, leading edge nationally accredited course, highly beneficial for those organisations wanting to invest in building the skills needed to equip for the future,” said Laura Mabikafola, Skills Lab General Manager.

Skills Lab trainers bring a wealth of industry maturity to the diploma, with access to the knowledge base and manufacturing expertise of SAGE Group engineers and technicians. A comprehensive knowledge of the new manufacturing value chain has been built through the development of an industry leading in-house manufacturing facility and an extensive portfolio of automation projects.

The Diploma is resourced with industry leading technology, with students gaining real-time experience in workplace problem-solving for their current employers.  A range of practical assessment tools will be used to track learning that can be contextualised to add value to manufacturing clients through a focus on fully connected systems that boost uptime and increase responsiveness to customers.

Collaboration delivers customer-centric solutions

The diploma will also have a strong focus on communication skills, with students encouraged to collaborate across teams to innovate, and to find digital solutions for manufacturing challenges such as maintaining cost efficiency and product flexibility.

“We want to build on communication skills and bring people together to think about how we problem solve things not just in their own way, but to think about what they could be doing differently to enable new ways of working, “said Mabikafola.

Research and development investment pays off for manufacturers

Course modules such as “Work in Industry 4.0” and “Plan, implement and apply preventative maintenance procedures” produce immediate benefit for businesses as diploma students research and solve current problems using emerging technology.

“We are delivering learning outcomes whilst delivering a research component to the organisation so it should be looked at as an R&D investment as well. It is going to help businesses think about what could be done digitally, that is going to enable them to have new processes,” said Mabikafola.

A recent Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre report highlights the benefit of R&D investment, finding successful manufacturers have an R&D spend more than three times greater than that of their less successful peers.

Skills Lab is positioned to provide a specialised solution for this growth market, with the systems delivery model allowing for flexible time frames and tailored content specific for individual business needs.

The Diploma will be delivered over a period of 1-3 years, providing graduates with hands-on experience and an industry recognisable qualification. Off-job training will be delivered in blocks, or via a part-time option that supports local industry requirements. Skills Lab also provides cyber-physical training options which align with the in-class offerings, using sophisticated software to enable active participation while learning.

Skills Lab General Manager welcomes SA Minister for Innovation and Skills David Pisoni in the virtual launch for South Australia, 8 May 2020.

The pilot program was officially launched in Adelaide on May 8th to kick off the national roll out.

Course information is available via the Skills Lab website.