Skilled workers needed to fuel manufacturing boom
ATTRACTING new apprentices and skilled employees to the workforce is vital if the booming manufacturing industry in Ipswich is to sustain itself, new research shows.
Jobs Queensland and Ipswich City Council worked with more than 20 industry stakeholders to develop a report into manufacturing industry in Ipswich region.
Findings pointed to the need to attract new apprentices and skilled workers to the industry while meeting challenges around the impact of technology on job security.
A Workforce Report and Action Plan for the Manufacturing Industry in Ipswich focused on developing a more highly skilled local workforce.
Fitter and turner Ian Baverstock said major projects like the $5 billion LAND 400 Defence Deal were essential to help train new manufacturing workers.
"It's great, the more projects we have like this the better for everyone," Mr Baverstock said.
"Especially the economy because it supplies more jobs and apprenticeships, it gives them something - a future. Especially with manufacturing going overseas, it's only a good thing."
He said skilled apprentices were becoming less common.
"I would like to see more apprentices but lately there has not been many, it's been dwindling over the years," Mr Baverstock said.
"Jobs like this will help increase the number."
Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Industry and Planning Cameron Dick said the report found the fast pace of technological change demanded a workforce with higher skills.
The Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Industry and Planning, the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training, the Department of Education and Ipswich City Council will lead the report's action plan.
"Together we will build business capability, upskill the current workforce, engage and build the future workforce, and further develop industry support and networks," Mr Dick said.
"We are also committed to maximising advantages Ipswich has through a wealth of available industrial land suited to both light and heavy manufacturing, servicing and linking to established heavy transport infrastructure.
"After securing the (LAND 400) deal, we have been working with stakeholders to position Ipswich and Queensland to secure even more major defence and manufacturing contracts to maximise further economic opportunities across a range of industry projects."