Future-focused Research: Building Tomorrow’s Manufacturing Workforce


Dear Stakeholders,

I am pleased to present to you the “Future Focus: Recruiting Vocational Trainers for Tomorrow’s Manufacturing Workforce” report, a comprehensive study commissioned by Manufacturing Skills Australia (MSA) and diligently prepared by K. L. O’Reilly-Briggs. This report is born out of our commitment to address the critical challenge of the vocational education and training (VET) teacher shortage, a concern that is pivotal to the sustainability of the manufacturing sector and the broader Australian industry.

The study, conducted between July and December 2023, explores the complexities and nuances of attracting skilled manufacturing workers to the VET teaching profession. It delves into the current state of the VET sector, underlining the urgent need for a robust pipeline of vocational trainers to ensure the continued excellence and relevance of our manufacturing workforce.

Our research has identified key barriers and enablers influencing the transition of industry professionals into vocational education roles. The findings reveal significant insights, shedding light on the aspirations and hesitations of potential vocational trainers. Armed with this knowledge, we are now better positioned to contribute to the development of targetedstrategies that will not only assist in attracting but also retaining top-tier talent within the VET sector.

The recommendations outlined in this report provide a strategic roadmap for MSA, industry stakeholders, and policy-makers. They are designed to foster a conducive environment that encourages industry experts to embark on fulfilling careers in vocational training, thereby securing the future of our manufacturing industry.

I invite you to engage with this report, reflect on its findings, and join us in shaping a resilient and future-ready VET sector. Together, we can ensure that the next generation of manufacturing professionals is equipped with the skills, knowledge, and expertise to thrive in an ever-evolving landscape.

Thank you for your continued support and commitment to advancing Australia’s manufacturing and vocational education sectors.

Warm regards,

Richard Jenkins

Chair, Manufacturing Skills Australia

Future Focus MSA Report 21.12.2023