Skilling future industry

A LACK of skilled workers in Queensland’s engineering and manufacturing sector could cripple the state’s economy with related and supplier industries feeling the effect. But investing in staff now, could prevent this.

The 2009 Manufacturing Skills Conference, presented by Manufacturing Skills Queensland, will aim to inform attendees how to deal with this problem. A series of speakers will outline the challenges for skills development in Queensland’s engineering and manufacturing sector and what industry, government, and training and education institutions can do to address these challenges.

Manufacturing Skills Queensland general manager Erik Salonen says while workers need the proper tools to do their jobs, they must also possess the right skill to use them.

"One of the goals of MSQ is to ensure the manufacturing industry is investing in the right skills to ensure its competitiveness and capability in the long term," he explains.

"The Manufacturing Skills Conference is a culmination of much of the work MSQ has done to date in the areas of skills formation strategies, recognition of prior learning, sectoral consultative groups and our achievements at the enterprise level."

Salonen says it is ideal for any manufacturer interested in using a skills-focus to improve the business through retention, attraction and training strategies.

"The conference brings together the major players of the manufacturing industry to exchange perspectives and provide direction to the skills agenda for manufacturers in Queensland, especially pertinent in this current economic downturn," he says.

"Often skills development initiatives like training is one of the first areas where funding is cut, however by investing in skills now you equip your business to better navigate through, and emerge strongly from, the economic downturn."

Attendees will hear speakers from the AIG, unions, government and industry with special attention paid to the skilling challenges faced by industry.

The inaugural Manufacturing Skills Conference will take place on June 3 at the BTP Centre in Brisbane Technology Park, Eight Mile Plains. More info at: www.msq.org.au.

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