Before the impacts of a global pandemic, the importance of an Australian manufacturing industry was being overlooked. With imports and exports getting easier as technology progresses and therefore financial savings to be made in doing so, the need for Australian manufacturing was reduced. Not to mention the negative impact offshore manufacturing has on Australian job creation, such a healthy contributor to an economy.
Cue a pandemic and this narrative couldn’t have been switched more quickly. All of sudden, supermarket shelves are bare, buying a new car is no longer accessible and even timber is in short supply and we can’t effectively find the resources to build a simple fence.
So what now?
Australia has been forced to reflect. The industry has had a chance to look at where we’re at and realise how much we truly can achieve within our own borders, not only fixing some of these shortages, but also giving back to the Australian economy that has suffered a tragic hit due to offshore manufacturing and the underlying impacts of this pandemic.
Manufacturing currently contributes to approximately six percent of Australia’s gross domestic product. It’s an industry that has experienced a great deal of speculation and debate surrounding its importance due to the previously mentioned extreme reliance on offshore manufacturing.
With the discussed impacts of a pandemic, it has been made clear the importance of developing a focus on rebuilding not just from the government’s standpoint but also business leaders who currently have a window of opportunity to reconfigure their strategy. The pandemic reminded Australians the value of local manufacturing which was evident in the quick actions towards delivery of medical and personal protective equipment when the country needed it most. Not to mention, there are endless benefits a strong Australian manufacturing industry presents to the economy including:
As of August 2020, Australia’s manufacturing industry directly supported 862,200 jobs and this has only continued to increase. The Australian Government’s JobMaker plan in conjunction with increasing consumer demand for tailored products has kickstarted the recognition of a need for increased manufacturing skill level requirements.
As a result, the demand for manufacturing skills, particularly at high levels, will drive salaries throughout production as well as pre and post-production.
Manufacturing offers diverse career opportunities in vast areas of business including:
It goes without saying that without manufacturing, there would be several essentials we would no longer have access to. Whether it’s the food and drink that we rarely to stop to think ‘how?’ or something much bigger like your car or a train, manufacturing plays its part in all of these.
At some point in the equation, these items we can sometimes take for granted, were a part of the manufacturing process. By taking this into consideration and prioritising buying local, you too can support the Australian economy and manufacturing industry.
With the movement away from overseas manufacturing, consumers can eventually expect reduced delivery costs, shorter lead times, lesser environmental impacts as well as improved standards for safety and quality control. Striking a balance between Australian and offshore manufacturing will better support our economy as well as ever-changing consumer demands and it’s a part of our country that we simply can’t function without.