A message from Jens Goennemann

The data is in, and the word is out.

Recently, we published our Perceptions of Australian Manufacturing report, two years after we first gauged the nation’s view of the industry.

Happily, it shows that, after five years of communicating its value to anybody who would listen, our message is achieving a growing degree of traction.

Seventy-two per cent of Australians now see manufacturing as important or very important to the economy (up from 65 per cent in 2019.) They are increasingly and accurately viewing manufacturing in Australia as high-tech and globally competitive. Those who believe it can grow stronger have nearly doubled to 37 per cent.

With more than 91,000 manufacturing jobs created in the last quarter and its official employment figure back over 1 million for the first time since 2009[1], we can conclude the wind is in our sails[2].

Our Perceptions report unearthed another interesting piece of data. Nowhere was the growth in those seeing manufacturing as important stronger than in the Northern Territory, at 83 per cent (up from 50 per cent.)

Territorians get it. They know that manufacturing matters. Their government gets it as well.

We recently embarked on a five-year, $8.75 million partnership with the NT Government, which has recognised the value of manufacturing as it comes out of the pandemic, in line with the Territory Economic Reconstruction Commission’s final report.

It is an opportunity for us to help the Northern Territory lift the complexity of its economy.

It is further validation of AMGC’s model, which has approved 114 industry projects nationwide, with over $135 million, of combined industry, in-kind and government investment resulting in an estimated $1.52 billion in additional revenues and 4,211 new jobs.

In relative terms, $8.75 million invested in manufacturing for an economy of a quarter-million folks would translate to roughly $280 million spent in NSW. It’s a serious investment, and we don’t take it lightly.

We launched the NT’s Advanced Manufacturing Ecosystem (AME) Fund on 21 September. It offers co-funding between $25,000 and $500,000 for projects in the Territory as it looks to manufacturing to make itself smarter, more prosperous, and with improved opportunities to add value to its natural resources.

You are invited to our free Understanding the Advanced Manufacturing Ecosystem Fund webinar on 13 October to learn more.

Leading the discussion will be Charmaine Barrett, Director, Northern Territory, a recent and very capable addition to our leadership team. Charmaine is a long-time Territorian and awesomely familiar with manufacturing and the untapped potential it offers up north.

A short note, and one that brings me a lot of joy to share.

With Charmaine on-board, our state and territory director lineup is closer to gender parity, something our team has achieved overall.

We aren’t quota-mad, we just believe that things are their best, as some say, when you don’t have half the team on the bench.

We believe manufacturing is an industry with an incredible future and is a source of exciting careers, whatever your gender. To be a team advocating for that incredible future, while being male-dominated, would be absurd.


[1] https://www.minister.industry.gov.au/ministers/taylor/media-releases/strong-rise-manufacturing-jobs-drive-our-recovery

[2] As we’ve said many times before and have demonstrated in our New Definition For A New Era report, the ABS figures do not properly account for manufacturing jobs. We calculated that the 905,000 jobs at the time were short by nearly 300,000. https://www.amgc.org.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Advanced-Manufacturing-a-new-definition-for-a-new-era.pdf