Australians pessimistic about the future of manufacturing: government survey
Thursday, October 10, 2013/
Australians have “little appetite” to fund support to the manufacturing industry, as more than two-thirds believe the money is wasted on a sector in decline that can no longer compete globally.
A Wallis Consultancy Group report commissioned by the former federal government and leaked to The Australian (the newspaper has put up the full report online) analyses the responses of a 1503-person survey and 10 focus groups.
The report found the vast majority (90%) of Australians believe manufacturing is an important part of the Australian economy. Most actually overstate its contribution to Australia’s GDP and to employment.
And most Australians (89%) agreed or strongly agreed that Australia produces high-quality products.
However, in the focus groups, few people said they actively sought out Australian-made products. Younger participants especially felt such buying decisions made little sense in a globalised, multicultural world.
And half (52%) of Australians hold a pessimistic view of the global competitiveness of manufacturing in Australia, with a larger majority (64%) believing manufacturing will decline in importance to the Australian economy in the future.
The survey part of the report does not cover government support for manufacturing. But it was an issue raised in the focus groups.
While some participants said preserving things like car manufacturing in Australia was important because of the related component industries, this view was not widely shared, the report states.
Instead, most participants were concerned the government was wasting its money propping up inefficient companies.
In the words of one participant: “I don’t think they should’ve put all those billions of dollars [into keeping] Ford and Holden going. Our future is something that’s high tech…like medical equipment or an ear implant.”
Be honest about your situation: How vulnerability helps businesses thrive Sue Parker DARE Group founder
Own it: The 10 things you need to do to manage your personal brand Lisa Stephenson Who Am I Projects founder
Six invaluable lessons: What 20 years in aged care taught me about being an entrepreneur Natasha Chadwick NewDirection Care founder
An entrepreneurial superpower: Eight tips to help develop resilience Adala Bolto ZADI Training co-founder
Going through a lull? Five areas you should invest in when sales drop Tamara Alaveras and Sonia Majkic 3 Phase Marketing co-founders
Stop telling us how busy you are, it's boring and charmless Ian Whitworth Scene Change co-founder
Blandification™ and the state of modern branding Jeffrey Oley The Offices co-founder
Why you should find the right role for the right person — not the other way around Bruce Stronge Outfit founder