Advanced Manufacturing: A Key to Bolstering the Australian Economy

April 18, 2024

Australia’s reliance on mineral extraction has created economic vulnerability. However, a new era of resilience and global competitiveness is dawning with a strategic shift towards advanced manufacturing. Amidst rising global tensions and economic uncertainties, the need for Australia to diversify its economic base has never been more urgent.

With manufacturing contributing over $100 billion to Australia’s GDP and employing 6.7% of the workforce, the potential for transformative growth is significant. However, Australia’s 93rd place ranking in the Harvard Global Index of Economic Complexity underscores an urgent need for greater innovation. Nations like Sweden and Denmark demonstrate how fostering innovation and productivity can drive success.

The Australian Government is taking decisive action. Investments like the $14 million boost for renewable energy technology manufacturing and the $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund (NRF) create sustainable, high-value jobs. These initiatives leverage Australia’s inherent advantages in renewables, medical science, and defence to move from extraction towards value creation.

“We can’t rely solely on market forces to shape our economic future,” emphasises Steve Murphy, National Secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union. “Strategic policies and support for innovation are vital for long-term success.”

The Future Made in Australia Act promises further incentives for manufacturing high-demand products like batteries and electric vehicles, tapping into Australia’s rich mineral resources. This, alongside a $12.6 billion investment in the National Skills Agreement, will expand training and upskill workers in advanced manufacturing to build a future-ready workforce.

Success stories like XYZ Technologies in Melbourne, which pivoted towards additive manufacturing for local and export markets, showcase the potential of innovation-driven growth. Experts also advocate for stronger industry-academic partnerships, similar to Germany’s Fraunhofer Institutes, to accelerate technological breakthroughs and economic diversification.

Australia has a unique opportunity to secure a prosperous future by embracing advanced manufacturing. Investing in technology, skills, and future-focused policies will ensure Australia remains competitive on the world stage, creating long-term prosperity for all Australians. Now is the time for businesses, investors, and policymakers to actively support this vital transformation.

Ready to future-proof your heavy manufacturing operations? Let TMR help you build a workforce with the cutting-edge skills to succeed. Get in touch and ask us how.

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