According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, almost 7 per cent of Australia’s employed workforce is from the manufacturing industry in 2019. There is a widening skills gap as the workforce is ageing and the industry struggle to attract young talents.

Automation has reduced the intake for non-skilled positions and the present skilled positions requirements are changing rapidly. Gen Z work force that are entering the job markets are characterised as being technologically advanced, independent and entrepreneurial and they lack excitement towards manufacturing careers.

In fact, LinkedIn’s top 15 emerging jobs for 2020 in Australia, in the fields of robotics, automation, AR, AI and data scientist will play a huge role in the future of manufacturing.


Retain your existing people by retaining them. Create future skills matrix and invest in cross-skilling your workforce in technical domain that will required in the future.

Promote your workforce from within by developing confident leaders by integrating both technical and soft skills to set them apart. We often see soft skills listed as requirements in job descriptions, but, how often are they included in skills matrices and development plans.

Give equal priority to soft skills development along with hard skills. It can create confident leaders who you can promote with confidence.

A fresh Gen Z graduate typically welcomes change and has an entrepreneurial spirit, so create roles that offer job rotations, flexible working and real responsibility from day one. Providing development opportunities in areas such as automation, data analytics will interest them.

In summary, create a plan for the future rather than struggling for workforce. Cross-train to retain existing people, develop soft skills to promote from within and understand your audience to better design and market the positions to attract top talent.