New State of the Sector Report finds Queensland manufacturing one of the nation’s best performers

Published
12 February 2024

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MEDIA RELEASE – Monday, 12 February 2024

  • Queensland’s manufacturing outputs have grown making it one of Australia’s top performers across most economic indicators
  • Over the past two decades, Queensland’s manufacturing capabilities have increased, with the state’s share of real manufacturing value-add up from 16% in 2003, to around 20% in 2023
  • The machinery and equipment subindustry is Queensland’s fastest growing in terms of employment up 20% since 2015-16, to 36,000
  • Wages are also growing faster than the national rate with employee earnings up by 11.1% in the year to August 2023.

Queensland manufacturing’s independent body Manufacturing Skills Queensland has released its inaugural The State of the Sector 2024 report.

The report (which uses the ABS census and workforce data) confirms that in the wake of the pandemic, Queensland’s manufacturing sector has not only recovered, but is emerging as one of the nation’s top performers.

The sector’s steadfast performance against a backdrop of decline in Australia’s traditional manufacturing bases reflects Queensland’s strong fundamentals—above-average economic, population and investment growth—as well as supply-chain linkages to the energy sector.

Most manufacturing sub-industries in Queensland have experienced employment growth, particularly in the fields of machinery and equipment.

The report reveals that Queensland’s manufacturing industry is deeply rooted in its regional communities with nearly half (45%) the workforce outside of Greater Brisbane.

In August 2023, 40,200 women worked in the Queensland manufacturing industry, accounting for 24.4% of the workforce. This is high for Queensland but below the national average of around 28%.

Secondary education and vocational education and training (VET) qualifications are the main qualifications of the Queensland manufacturing workforce, but significant differences exist between different age cohorts. The report confirms the need to improve the qualification profile of industry through training.

The report paves the way for Manufacturing Skills Queensland’s first state-wide industry engagement program commencing late February to inform an inaugural Annual Training Plan for the industry.

The State of the Sector 2024 report has been prepared by Manufacturing Skills Queensland and peak industry association Ai Group.

Quotes attributable to Chief Executive Officer, Manufacturing Skills Queensland, Rebecca Andrews:

“Queensland’s manufacturing performance following the pandemic has been impressive—generally outperforming other states on many measures.

“This pandemic created a momentum in Queensland manufacturing. It presents a unique chance for Queensland to further develop its manufacturing sector, create jobs, and stimulate economic growth.

“Embracing the opportunity that is before us needs collaborative effort—employers, peaks, unions, training organisations and all levels of government—to future-proof the industry, build capability and secure manufacturing in Queensland.

“Attracting and engaging high quality, skilled labour is currently one of the most significant challenges facing our manufacturers right now—job vacancies remain double their long run rate, and the industry is calling for more skilled workers.

“The report highlights a need to bolster Queensland’s manufacturing sector locally, connect supply chains, and provide sustainable workforce solutions.

“State of the Sector 2024 gives us much-needed baseline of key metrics to inform industry-wide opportunities and challenges to improve. Manufacturing Skills Queensland has an important role to play bolstering Queensland’s manufacturing sector locally, connecting local supply chains, and providing sustainable workforce solutions.

Highlights from Manufacturing Skills Queensland’s State of the Sector 2024 report include:  

  • Queensland manufacturing performance has strongly rebounded during and following the pandemic—with material increases in industry value-add, employment and capex.
  • Queensland’s share of real manufacturing value-add is up from 16% in 2003, to around 20% in 2023.
  • There were 163,000 employees in Queensland manufacturing in November 2023. Following a workforce swell in late 2021/early 2022, with the removal of pandemic-era restrictions, we’ve seen normalisation in the industry, with the workforce subsequently stabilising.
  • Queensland has the most regionalised manufacturing industry in Australia, with nearly half the workforce outside of Greater Brisbane.
  • The machinery and equipment sub-industry is Queensland’s fastest growing in terms of employment, up 20 percent since 2015-16 to 36,000.
  • Labour supply presents the most acute pressure on Queensland manufacturing today, despite vacancies now easing. At 1.8%, Queensland manufacturing job vacancies remain above their long run rate of 1.0%.
  • The gender composition of Queensland manufacturing has improved in the past decade; however, the female share of the workforce is only 24.4%, which remains below the national average (around 28%).
  • Wages are growing faster than the national rate with employee earnings up by 11.1% in the year to August 2023.
  • Secondary education and vocational education and training (VET) qualifications are the main qualifications of the Queensland manufacturing workforce.
  • Small businesses make the bulk of the Queensland manufacturing industry, in the Greater Brisbane region (45%), and regionally (53%).

Find the full report online – visit msq.org.au/resources

 

About Manufacturing Skills Queensland

Manufacturing Skills Queensland (MSQ) is an independent, not-for-profit industry-led organisation that plays a crucial role in delivering industry forecasting, skills, and training to support the manufacturing sector. Supported by the Queensland Government, MSQ aims to build a sustainably skilled workforce for a future-proofed manufacturing industry.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Katie Martel – Croft PR Founder/Director, [email protected] 0413 780 545

P: 1800 MSQ 000 (1800 677 000)
E: [email protected]

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