The recent news from General Motors that it would discontinue the famous, Australian cultural phenomenon, car brand Holden opened old wounds and fears around the state of homegrown manufacturing. Whilst it is perfectly understandable to feel nostalgic and even sadness around this announcement, we can safely say that the rumours of manufacturing’s death have been greatly exaggerated!
When the auto industry collapsed seven years ago, auto-manufacturers were forced to diversify, in fact, when ICN Victoria partnered with the Victorian Government to host the successful Victorian Manufacturing Showcase it was to celebrate the incredibly vibrant and diverse manufacturing industry in Victoria.
“Our goal is to focus on what we make and what we make well, rather than what we’ve lost,” said Lynn Johnson, ICN Victoria Manager – Strategic Projects, Process and Systems and VMS stalwart.
Victoria is home to over 11,800 manufacturing firms employing over 270,000 people with one of the highest rates of full-time work of any industry. These impressive numbers support the state’s claims to be the centre of Australian manufacturing, even more so with the industry contributing $30 billion to the Victorian economy.
“Innovation is the epicentre of a strong industry that continues to grow, transform and develop new products, processes and markets,” said Grant Anderson, ICN Victoria Executive Director.
“When companies commit themselves to a culture of innovation it paves the way to successfully create and commercialise inventions. This is where Industry 4.0 fits.”
“Building a favourable atmosphere for innovations is critical, for it’s exactly what encourages creativity to prosper.”
“ICN Victoria has built strong relationships with the South East Melbourne Manufacturing Alliance (SEMMA), NORTH Link, Geelong Manufacturing Council and Bendigo Manufacturing Group over a long period of time. In simple terms, effective collaboration and information sharing with these member-based organisations helps the industry thrive,” said Grant.
Manufacturing is a diverse, high value-adding sector which has productive and strong linkages to many growing industries in the agriculture, resources and services sectors of the economy. There are great examples of successful and growing firms in niche and advanced manufacturing, supporting areas such as resources, food and beverages, engineering and metals fabrication, information and communication technologies, the environment, health, and leisure and recreation.
SEMMA recently invited a delegation from ICN Victoria to visit some of the First Class-World Class manufacturers that are ensuring the future of manufacturing in Australia and more specifically Victoria is in good hands.
The tour featured four businesses, all succeeding in winning contracts and supplying Australian made products into major infrastructure and defence projects that would have otherwise gone offshore.
ICN Victoria’s Industry Advisers pride themselves on their industry knowledge, this is cultivated through site visits both metro and regional to better understand capability and how local businesses can participate in the economic development and sustainability of Victoria and more broadly, Australia.