Manufacturing: A Moment of Opportunity

by Jim Stanford and Tom Swann

In conjunction with the National Manufacturing Summit, titled “From Opportunity to Action,” at Parliament House in Canberra on June 21, 2017, the Centre for Future Work has released a new research paper on the opportunities to sustain and expand manufacturing jobs in Australia.

Our new report, Manufacturing: A Moment of Opportunity, by Jim Stanford and Tom Swann, challenges the general tone of pessimism which accompanies many discussions about manufacturing in Australia.  Manufacturing has survived a brutal decade of global and domestic challenges.  It’s still here, it’s still one of Australia’s largest employers, and it still makes a disproportionate and strategic contribution to overall national prosperity.  Even more interesting, there are some intriguing signs that manufacturing might be turning a corner.

The paper also presents new public opinion research showing that Australians continue to express strong support for manufacturing and its role in the economy.  Australians consistently underestimate the size and performance of manufacturing — perhaps influenced by the negative tone of much reporting of the sector.  But they deeply value its importance as a source of good jobs, exports, and national prosperity.  And they will support — by margins of five-to-one — targeted policies to help manufacturing succeed here.

Full report