Event wrap-up: MSQ launches $5.06 million Annual Training Plan at industry breakfast event

By Renee Dickens

11 July 2024

On 9 July 2024, Manufacturing Skills Queensland launched the first-of-its-kind 2024-25 Annual Training Plan alongside more than 100 representatives from the sector – sharing details of the new $5.06 million-investment commitment to advancing Queensland manufacturing.

Held on Jagera and Turrbal country at Victoria Park, the Minister for Employment and Small Business, Minister for Training and Skills Development, the Honourable Lance McCallum MP and MSQ’s CEO Rebecca Andrews shared details about the 19 new programs unveiled as part of the Plan.

Minister McCallum discussed the Queensland Government’s investment and commitment to supporting manufacturing as the backbone of our economy, by building a resilient and diverse workforce, supporting workers by skilling up for good secure jobs, which will further enhance advanced manufacturing excellence in Queensland.

He spoke of increasing diversity in the industry and urged businesses to get involved in MSQ’s Annual Training Plan’s $1.35 million Women in Trades Mentoring program, a program which will provide intensive support to 100 female apprentices in their first- or second-year of their manufacturing apprenticeship.

The 2024-25 Annual Training Plan was developed in consultation with industry, many who were in the room, and the launch provided an opportunity for MSQ’s CEO Rebecca Andrews to share the insights gathered from the six-week regional and metro engagement process, as well as data from MSQ’s State of the Sector report which was released earlier this year.

Andrews highlighted across most metrics, Queensland was outperforming Australian manufacturing, but also noted that this came with its challenges, including attracting and engaging a highly skilled, diverse and sustainable workforce.

In response to these insights, Andrews was pleased to officially launch the much-anticipated $5.06 million-investment Annual Training Plan, listing each of the 19 important programs across the four priority investment areas: attracting and engaging with new cohort; the future of trades, transformation, and leadership; training and skills; and diversity in manufacturing.

Andrews stated the Annual Training Plan was a strategic investment, designed to have an impact and deliver outcomes. The program aims to address some of the key issues industry shared, including promotion of manufacturing as an industry, job pathways challenges, current training and accreditation pathways, and suitability of talent.

A highpoint of the event was hearing from MSQ’s Director, Advocacy, Communication and Engagement Quinn Sunderland, who shared new insights from a targeted school’s research project, which surveyed 200 students and their associated parents.

The research highlighted manufacturing’s perception problem, with data showing a quarter of Queensland’s young people believe manufacturing is an industry in decline, that careers in manufacturing ‘are not very appealing’ (only 5% said it was very appealing), that it is ‘dirty work’, and that ‘automation is taking over the jobs’.

On a more positive note, parents thought manufacturing was a more promising career prospect, and overwhelmingly, parents were identified as the most influential people in the young person’s life (surprise….not social media influencers).

It was an important morning, connecting with industry, sharing the status of Queensland Manufacturing in 2024 and demonstrating how the Queensland Government’s significant $5.06 million investment through the Annual Training Plan will support employers to embrace transformation, sustainability practices, and strategic workforce planning to thrive into the future.

As we begin to roll out these programs, we are passionate about continuing the discussion and collaboration with industry, and invite you to directly contact our team and/or provide advice or feedback via our website msq.org.au.

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