National Manufacturing Summit 2018: Top 5 Takeaways

The 2018 National Manufacturing Summit gathered industry stakeholders to discuss solutions to two of the most critical issues facing the manufacturing sector today: energy security and vocational education. Discussion was held around the following. However, we are yet to determine if now there will be actions taken to support manufacturing SMEs. It was concerning that the summit was logistically and financially out of the reach of most industry SMEs. Perhaps there will be an opportunity to contribute at some other point in time.

  1. Total employment in manufacturing increased by almost 50,000 positions in the year ending in May 2018, making manufacturing one of the largest sources of new jobs in the entire economy.

  2. Australia can regain competitiveness in the export market by resorting to more renewable energy, using batteries and gas to balance the intermittencies in renewable energy, and rebuilding the skills base for manufacturing.

  3. The manufacturing sector is still a strong employer in the country, despite the loss of the automotive sector.

  4. To sustain the emerging turnaround in manufacturing, as well as the transformation toward more specialised and disaggregated advanced manufacturing processes, the sector has an urgent need to strengthen vocational education and training.

  5. Only about nine percent of jobs can be replaced by automation, while technological advancements have the potential to create more jobs.Humans will certainly work alongside robots for a long time yet. Goods manufactured using robots need to be programmed, finished and refined by humans.

Keen to discover what actions have been recommended to rectify the issues affecting manufacturing and how we can all collaborate.

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