South Australia’s Advanced Manufacturing priority has been supported in the 2013-14 State Budget through a package of measures aimed to assist the transition from an industry of imitation through to a sector of innovation.The State Budget will provide $4.1million over four years to establish a High-Value Food Manufacturing Centre, which delivers on the recommendations made by Advanced Manufacturing Council chairman Professor Göran Roos, who believes the sector must establish industry clusters based on the State’s key strengths – such as premium food and wine.
“The centre will bring together the food manufacturing industry, government, universities and researchers to accelerate the application of new knowledge and innovation in food manufacturing. It will focus on assisting the development of improved food and processing technologies and providing technical expertise in new product development,” Mr Weatherill said.
The Budget will provide $3 million over three years to continue the Small Business Innovation Research Pilot Program, which helps small businesses develop innovative products.
“The second phase of this pilot program also will aim to assist the State’s manufacturers to develop the capacity to consistently make high-value products and services,” Mr Weatherill said.
The State Budget will also include $150,000 over two years to help position South Australian students within manufacturing businesses as part of a training program to be managed by the Australian Industry Group.
Mr Weatherill believes the 2013-14 State Budget would provide funding to support people to train for the job opportunities emerging in advanced manufacturing, mining and mining services, premium food and wine and professional services. An extra $27 million will be spent on industry training over the next two years.
“We want to make sure people have the opportunities to improve their skills and capacity to find rewarding jobs in areas of strategic priority to South Australia. We are seeing rapid change in the manufacturing sector. It is crucial that we retain and build on the talent and skills of the workers in those sectors so they can more easily find alternative work, ” Mr Weatherill said.
“Advanced manufacturing, mining and construction are all areas of projected growth and there is growing demand for skilled people in these industries over the coming years.”