Manufacturers have been given a unique opportunity to attract Australia’s youth to the sector which has recently struggled to break down the stereotypical perception about where a manufacturing career might take them.

The Government’s innovative $752 million Youth Jobs PaTH (Prepare-Trial-Hire) programme announced in the Federal Budget will enable the sector to attract and retain talent, promoting prosperous careers in a sector that is undergoing positive transformation.

“Australian manufacturing is changing. While, original equipment manufacturing is exiting our shores, new advanced manufacturing is slowly taking its place – transforming the Australian manufacturing landscape. What’s been lagging in this transition, is the development of the manufacturing workforce. While traditionally its struggled to shake the stigma of a prosperous career, the Government’s youth initiative provides a distinct opportunity to invigorate the sector’s workforce,” said Mark Phillips, Manufacturing National Leader, Grant Thornton Australia.

The manufacturing industry has found it difficult to attract youth into the sector, with 41.2% of the manufacturing workforce being classified as mature age workers, including 25% aged between 45 and 54 years, resulting in manufacturing having the oldest workforce in the Australian economy.

The Youth Jobs PaTH programme provides an excellent opportunity for Australian manufactures to attract young workers to the industry. The program is designed to help young people gain a foothold in the labour market. The second step is of the program, the internship placement, is focusing on matching job seekers and businesses, allowing young workers the opportunity to gain hands on experience in a workplace while receiving a small payment. Also businesses that take on interns will receive an upfront payment of $1,000, and will benefit from the opportunity to see what a young worker can do and how they fit in to the team before deciding whether to offer them ongoing employment – if there is a match. 

In addition, there are further wage subsidies available from 1 January 2017, when Australian employers will be eligible for a Youth Bonus wage subsidy if they hire a young job seeker who has been in employment services for six months or more.

“The Federal Budget includes a number of positive measures for the manufacturing industry with significant investments such as the $195 billion funding of defence building projects, the Northern Australia Infrastructure facility and over 150 other infrastructure projects, but it is the Youth Jobs PaTH programme, that’s exciting and breathes new life into the sector,” said Mr Phillips.

“If the government puts in place local procurement teeth, in support of its spending directives and manufacturers have access to the youth of tomorrow, we will have the perfect storm to reinvigorate our manufacturing sector,” said Mr Phillips.

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For more information please contact:

Helina Lilley
National Public Relations Manager
M  0437 725 520
E helina.lilley@au.gt.com