The past few years have seen big changes come to the manufacturing industry and amidst many negative predictions that have not come to pass we are still seeing a positive future.
In 2014 we predicted the next few years would see Australia put under increasing pressure by low cost offshore manufacturing.
These pressures have taken their toll on our steel and our automotive industries, but we have come back swinging.
Our response has been to refocus on the things that set us apart: technologically advanced manufacturing and close-to-home production.
And this shift has led to a demand for a more skilled workforce. People are beginning to see the numerous career opportunities that advanced manufacturing can offer.
This is a shift we can not take for granted.
A core component of training and recruitment is outreach, and that is exactly what we need more of to defeat manufacturing's 'image problem'.
Manufacturing encompasses far more than metalworks and welding, but the public image is slow to adapt.
As I have said before, students and job seekers should be made aware that the manufacturing sector can provide good pay, stability, and long-term employment.
At a time when the future looks uncertain for many people, this reliability is exactly what is needed.
Not only that but manufacturing is increasingly part of the cutting edge of technology, and the manufacturers of the future will be working on applications sure to challenge the best and brightest amongst us.
It has been heartening to see both Labor and Liberal governments step up to the plate and act on behalf of our national industries.
Their focus must turn to more than grants and projects, however. A sustained effort to promote the rich and complex reality of the manufacturing industry will be crucial for the next decade of growth.
Let the younger generation know that if they want to work in a secure industry and be well rewarded for tackling the the important technological and logistical challenges of the future, manufacturing is the place to be.