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Report Highlights

  • The AUKUS alliance offers substantial job opportunities, with projections of 20,000 jobs over 30 years across various sectors.
  • Job vacancies in manufacturing have decreased to around 2.5% of the labour force
  • The Federal Government’s National Reconstruction Fund will significantly invest in advanced manufacturing, amounting to $1 billion
  • Manufacturing is among the top three industries reporting ransomware incidents, with 118 recorded in Australia during 2022–23
  • Meeting Australia's target of 82% renewables in the electricity grid by 2030 requires substantial investment in local infrastructure manufacturing

The manufacturing industry has experienced a tough time in recent years, but the future brings promising prospects. St.George Bank's latest report highlights five themes shaping the industry.

1. AUKUS alliance 

The AUKUS strategic defence alliance between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States opens a world of opportunity, with significant job creation and market expansion expected in the defence sector. Manufacturers could benefit from increased collaboration with defence organisations and exploring existing technologies to address the needs of the defence industry.

2. Australian workforce

The workforce remains a challenge as manufacturers continue to experience difficulties in recruitment and rising wages. With government measures aimed at improving skills across the economy, these could make hiring and training easier for manufacturers.

3. Digital transformation

The high-tech revolution is another area which creates opportunities as the federal government invests $1 billion in the manufacturing industry. Collaboration with universities is also helping manufacturers drive innovation and generate revenue.

4. Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is an increasing concern as cybercriminals become more sophisticated in the way they attack organisations. With manufacturing among the top targeted industries, manufacturers need to include control procedures such as creating a security-aware culture among their employees to reduce the risk of cyber threats.

5. Clean energy transition

Energy transitions present both challenges and opportunities. Rising energy costs are a concern, but the shift towards renewables offers new avenues for growth. Manufacturers are encouraged to diversify energy sources and explore the potential of critical minerals for renewable energy production as well as the manufacture of infrastructure such as wind turbines.


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