No-one can deny that the pandemic caught us all by surprise. Our economy, along with the rest of the world, is still riding the shockwaves. But the manufacturing industry was languishing in the doldrums way before COVID. So is this the shakeup needed that will, at last, re-ignite the sector?
Following much-needed government intervention, manufacturing industry leaders certainly hope so.
National Recovery Begins at Local Level
Despite being a country rich in natural resources, with a diverse population and some of the brightest minds on the planet, we’ve allowed our manufacturing industry to atrophy to a point where the disruption of COVID caused chaos: Not quite a disaster, but the impact has left the industry reeling.
The newly established government taskforce set up in response to an industry-led recommendation plan is definitely a step in the right direction. Yet it’s important to realise that success relies on a strategic shift in the sector’s way of thinking, and it’s only by thinking locally that the building blocks are created from which expansion can occur.
Manufacturing is set to play a crucial role in our nation’s economic recovery, and it’s essential that the sector gets the necessary recognition and resources to do so.
The Role of the SMEs
Small and medium manufacturers make up the majority of the industry – and for too long they’ve failed to receive the investment and focus they need to grow. The new (long-overdue) government drive will be a critical boost to fast-tracking growth and innovation. The world of manufacturing needs to further embrace the ever-advancing technologies that can streamline production. We need to encourage effective collaboration, as well as targeted research into science and technology.
Manufacturing SMEs need to become attractive to investors and the brightest minds and graduates seeking to pursue a career in the sector. We need to provide opportunities that keep these rising stars on home soil, rather than leaving our shores for opportunities in other countries.
Rebuilding needs to focus on the end-game: for too long the mind-set has been that of short-term reward. Now, more than ever, there needs to be a shift to working on a long-term strategy. That way local economies will be re-built, the industry will prosper, and Australia can move back to being the global powerhouse of manufacturing that it has the potential to become.
A Wealthy Nation Stumbles
The failure to invest in the manufacturing sector has led to our output being on a par with some of the poorest nations on the planet. This, from a country whose GDP per capita is one of the highest in the world, shows the impact of a failure to recognise and put an effective strategy in place. When COVID hit, the serious flaws in our economic model became glaringly apparent. This led to what manufacturing leaders have long-been begging for – the attention and investment from our government that the sector so badly needs.
At last it seems that this might be the case. The recently announced government plans to stimulate manufacturing will, hopefully, bring about the changes necessary to make Australian manufacturing great again.
Our economy can recover – it will recover. But at its core we must have a strong local manufacturing industry. This provides the basis upon which all other industries can benefit. Establishing from the ground upwards is what our nation was built on, and with the right dedicated focus we can do the same again.
SixDe: Precision Machine Components Produced in WA
This shift to a local model means companies need to source in their own back yard. SixDe is a leading provider of precision machine components based in Perth, WA. With decades of expertise, their reputation of delivering the ultimate in manufacturing, tooling and engineering solutions to a wide variety of Australian industries is second-to-none.
Discover more at www.sixde.com.au or give them a call on 08 9434 1112.