Executive summary


The IBSA Group conducted an extensive series of research and consultation activities – Delivering Modern Manufacturing through a Skilled Workforce.
This initiative was in response to increasing changes in workforce skills requirements, the Australian Government’s release of the Modern Manufacturing Strategy (MMS) and the ongoing disruption caused by COVID-19.

This report provides insights, from industry leaders and stakeholders from across the manufacturing industry, on the challenges currently facing the manufacturing sector. It also proposes strategies to support the development of a highly skilled workforce that can underpin the future of manufacturing in Australia.

This program of consultation has demonstrated that the Australian manufacturing sector is ready to share its expertise, energy and insight to identify the skills needed to position the sector and the Australian economy for continued productivity and prosperity for generations to come.

The COVID-19 pandemic and consequent global economic slow-down and disruption to supply lines has demonstrated that national resilience requires the ability to achieve self-reliance in design, production and supply – for food, medical supplies, transport, defence and other needs.

To achieve this sovereign capability and to embrace new opportunities, industry leaders have pointed out the importance of building a workforce skilled in product development, new technologies, design and prototyping along with gaining efficiencies through sustainability and collaborative skills.
This will enable the development of integrated, innovative systems and business models across subsectors and design, production and distribution teams, as well as between training organisations and industry. Most critically,
industry must be allowed to lead this process through the establishment of priorities and the setting of standards.

In light of the findings and recommendations of the consultation series, IBSA will seek further consultation with government, industry and education and training leaders to discuss the findings and identify practical solutions to the challenges raised.

Key findings and skills response recommendations