Manufacturing jobs in Queensland are set to receive a significant boost after the state government unveiled a new industry group earlier this month. Official figures show the sector is already the state’s third largest employer, supporting more than 165,000 workers.
Minister for State Development Dr Anthony Lynham said the new body, named the Industry and Manufacturing Advisory Group (IMAG), would provide a number of benefits for the $19 billion sector.
The group comprises nine manufacturing experts from unions and other industry organisations. Dr Lynham stated that it was crucial to get the right mix of individuals with experience across both small and large businesses.
“Given the size of the industry, there is scope for the government to support increased productivity, employment growth and encourage the building of a more competitive industry through greater access to major domestic and global supply chain opportunities,” he added.
“The group will concentrate on a number of areas including changing demand and emerging opportunities, productivity and competitiveness, innovation and technology, local content, business costs and industry regulation.”
According to the Queensland government, IMAG members are scheduled to meet up to three times per year, with the first ever gathering occurring in November 2015.
Ai Group welcomes IMAG
The Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) congratulated the Queensland government’s efforts in establishing the IMAG. The organisation’s Queensland State Director, Jemina Dunn, said the move indicated the government’s commitment to supporting “critical sectors” of the economy.
“Queensland has many highly innovative manufacturing companies that are doing exceptionally well globally and there is enormous potential to lift the broader sector to operate at a similar level,” she explained.
Creating new jobs in the industry could have positive ramifications for apprenticeships and traineeships in Queensland. Manufacturing growth is likely to generate vacancies for recently qualified candidates, while employers may also look to begin offering on-the-job training opportunities in an effort to build a talent pipeline for the future.
Ms Dunn admitted manufacturers had weathered tough conditions in recent years due to a high Australian dollar, rising labour costs and an increase in cheap imports. However, she claimed there was cause for positivity, with five consecutive months of growth revealed in the organisation’s Performance of Manufacturing Index.
The Ai Group claimed this was the longest stretch of continuous growth in manufacturing since July 2010. Ms Dunn said there is a “fantastic future” for the sector in Queensland, provided the government works closely with industry to maximise opportunities.
By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator