Upskilling the Australian manufacturing workforce

A highly skilled workforce is the cornerstone of a thriving manufacturing sector. Establishing world-class, nationally recognised qualifications is a key component to ensure that businesses and their workforce stay at the forefront of global innovation and competitiveness.  

By identifying skills shortages, emerging trends, and evolving technological developments, IBSA shapes future training and qualifications to ensure the manufacturing workforce is well-equipped to advance through any challenges and changes and thrive as an industry.

In 2019, IBSA created the Excellence in Manufacturing Skills Development category for the Endeavour Awards to acknowledge innovation and excellence within industry. Now in its fourth year, IBSA is proud to again sponsor this Award and to continue recognising the exceptional work by many organisations to raise skill levels in the industry.

In developing the qualifications and skill sets that are needed to upskill workforces, IBSA undertakes whole of industry engagement – this includes peak bodies, employers and training providers.

“At many levels, our engagement with industry is critical to the work we do in developing training packages and qualifications and getting real insights from industry as to what’s emerging, developing, changing, and how that needs to be reflected in the way that people are trained and educated,” IBSA Group Industry Engagement Manager Philip Clarke said.

To achieve the best outcomes, collaboration between industry and training providers in designing workforce qualifications is essential.

“Collaboration is a big thing often spoken about, but it’s got to be done and filter through to more flexible training solutions,” Mr Clarke said. “And a greater sense of responsibility for scaling the workforce involves investment from government, industry and individuals.”

IBSA Group Industry Engagement manager, Philip Clarke.

As an example, the Victorian state government is supporting Hanwha Defence Australia for the build of its new facility in Avalon. Manufacturing hubs have also been created across Australia that are facilitating more opportunities for manufacturers to collaborate and upskill, including Tonsley Park in Adelaide and the Swinburne University of Technology’s Factory of the Future.

As technologies including robotics become more prevalent in Australian manufacturing, IBSA Group works to help develop the skills needed to support the industry as it evolves and to find solutions that drive manufacturing excellence.

IBSA acts as a key access point for industry, including education providers, to provide feedback on what emerging technologies and changing skills needs their industry requires, and it translates that information into creating and reviewing qualifications that will support future industry growth and invigoration.

“It’s about identifying the skills that people need for the future, for the roles that are coming up, and to make sure that we move with technology,” Mr Clarke added. “That’s one of the biggest ways that IBSA supports manufacturing and skills development.”

Join IBSA Group on 3 November in Sydney to celebrate excellence in manufacturing skills development: www.endeavourawards.com.au/awards/

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