Tasmania woos industrial designers for advanced manufacturing

A Caterpillar truck (ABC)

In response to the fallout from the mining equipment manufacturer Caterpillar’s decision to leave Tasmania, the state is trying to entice more industrial designers, according to the ABC. 

In 2015, Caterpillar decided to move its Burnie plant to Thailand, which hit the local manufacturing sector hard with the loss of 280 jobs. The effect of the closure was that state government set up the Caterpillar Transition Taskforce to consider solutions that would enable stimulus activity for the region.

The Taskforce is also targeting ex-Caterpillar workers to re-skill and become industrial designers. 

University of Tasmania College teacher Andrew Dickinson told that there was a range of people applying to the ‘Design for Industry’ course he teaches at the college and the taskforce had some effect on the uptake

“We’ve got some young people, we’ve got some experienced engineers and we’ve got a cohort of males and we’ve got some women applying,” he said. 

“You’ll find the more diverse your groups are the more rounded and better the design result will be.”