THE need to attract new workers to the manufacturing industry and tackle the impact of technology on maintaining job opportunities were among the key findings into a report on the Ipswich manufacturing industry.

A Workforce Report and Action Plan for the Manufacturing Industry in Ipswich, released as part of the Defence Ipswich 2018: Integrated Logistics and Sustainment Summit at USQ Springfield today, addressed workforce development and skills-related issues impacting Ipswich manufacturing.

The report addressed building business capability, up-skilling the workforce, engaging and building the future workforce and industry support and networks.

Report key findings:

Technology is changing the operating environment and businesses would value support to grow their capability to remain competitive. Business owners wanted information and resources to support future technological advancements.

Businesses wanted help to prepare their processes and procedures to access new markets and supply chains.

Cameron Dick MP chat to media at USQ Springfield on Tuesday.
Cameron Dick MP chat to media at USQ Springfield on Tuesday. Rob Williams

Up-skilling and building capacity in leadership, management and businesses processes through both accredited and non-accredited training is crucial.

Improving the digital capability of the existing workforce was considered important to help businesses introduce technological advancements.

The industry recognised an opportunity to attract new entrants into the workforce by 'myth busting' misconception and positioning the industry as an attractive career option.

Reforms and perceived inflexibility in the apprenticeship and trainee system and concerns about businesses' ability to meet strict supervisor requirements was seen to have reduced the attractiveness of employing new apprentices and trainees.

Improving linkages between schools and industry was viewed as a further opportunity to attract mew entrants into the workforce.