The manufacturing sector is strategically important to the Victorian economy as a source of jobs, exports, investments, innovation, and research and development. Despite its declining share of national and state output, manufacturing remains the second-largest sector in the Victorian economy. The starting point for this research report, prepared by the Australian Industry Group in partnership with the University of Technology Sydney, is that effective management practices, skills and capabilities have the potential to drive productivity, innovation and competitiveness in the Victorian manufacturing sector.
The sector is dependent on the availability of a skilled workforce which is able to adapt and respond to the significant challenges it faces. These challenges include the shift to higher-level skills driven by the introduction of new technologies and the demands of global competition, the recruitment and retention challenges that come from other sectors hungry for skills, such as the resources sector, and the challenges that flow from a wide public perception that manufacturing is a sector at risk.