New research from the AMP Foundation shows that over two thirds of Australian engineering and manufacturing workers are currently working on a side project, looking to turn their passion into a reality, and that one third of workers work on their project immediately after clocking off from their main job.
The research from the financial services company’s philanthropic arm also found that the most popular categories for a side project include small business (24%), technology (19%) and arts and culture (19%).
If money were no object, the top three societal issues workers would look to tackle are the environment (28%), health (21%) and the ageing population (12%).
But money is the main thing holding them back from pursuing a side project, according to 41 per cent of respondents, as well as lack of time generally (16%) and work commitments (14%).
The Foundation released the research to mark the launch of this year’s applications for its Tomorrow Fund, which gives away $1 million in grants each year to everyday Australians doing amazing things in their communities.
AMP Foundation Head of Sustainability Helen Liondos says that with the right support, more engineering and manufacturing workers will be able to make their dreams a reality.
“The research shows engineering and manufacturing workers want to achieve amazing things in the community but money often prevents them from making a positive impact,” she says. “Many people underestimate their capacity to get funding or simply aren’t aware of the funding options available to them. At the AMP Foundation, we want to better support the talent and innovation that exists in our community and make it easier for Australians to receive funding for their passion projects.
“A grant from the AMP Tomorrow Fund can be used by our Tomorrow Makers to fund a range of things – whether it’s a vital piece of equipment, training or travel – to help them make a positive impact on Australia. We’ve found that offering such flexibility in funding can foster agility and innovation.”
Individuals of all ages, interests and abilities, working towards a goal with a community benefit, are invited to apply for grants of up to $100,000 per person before 27th May.
The Fund is now in its sixth year. Projects of past recipients include fostering emotional intelligence and resilience in young men with the aim of addressing youth suicide and domestic violence, helping medical researchers access vital brain cancer tissue, inventing a polymer made from waste that can clean up oil spills and absorb mercury, developing an app to help children with learning disabilities, such as dyslexia, read, and helping charities harness the positive power of blockchain technology.
“We have been honoured to support so many remarkable Australians during the past five years,” Liondos says. “The breadth of talent and the level of commitment to doing good in our community never fails to amaze, and I look forward to meeting our new batch of AMP Tomorrow Makers.”