Australia’s manufacturing sector is under considerable strain to remain competitive against lower-cost international rivals while simultaneously coming to grips with an ageing population, new technologies and increasingly stringent customer and regulatory requirements. As these trends increase competition and place pressure on revenues, the question about the future of the industry from the perspective of manufacturing employees must be asked.

The State of the Manufacturing Workforce: Will it be make or break?

Our survey – conducted by Galaxy Research – revealed that uncertainty and constant shake-up in the manufacturing industry was taking a heavy toll on workers. More than half of the manufacturing workers surveyed were not confident about work in the future, with only a small proportion indicating they were relatively optimistic. The survey also unveiled deep intergenerational tension in the manufacturing sector.

By leveraging mobile and collaboration technologies and modernising productivity applications such as rostering systems, manufacturing businesses can close the gaps between current and best practice. They can rebalance workloads to help older workers remain productive, enable staff to swap shifts to meet their need for a flexible lifestyle, and build worker loyalty and commitment. This will in turn lead to greater productivity, better service levels and more efficient operations.