Advanced manufacturing needs to be taught nationwide, says Weld Australia

Image credit: Weld Australia

Weld Australia has called for a nationwide rollout of the Advanced Manufacturing School Outreach Program, an initiative in New South Wales that seeks to encourage kids in secondary schools to explore a meaningful career in the industry. 

Geoff Crittenden, chief executive officer at Weld Australia, highlighted Australia’s need for a new radical approach towards addressing the country’s skills crisis. 

“The same old approach that we’ve taken for years will not arm Australia with the skilled workers needed to deliver the record number of projects we’re seeing in industries like defence and renewables, let alone the $237 billion pipeline of government infrastructure,” Crittenden added. 

The CEO said the outreach program seeks to help parents understand that career as a tradesperson is full of potential and reverse the mindset that the only path for kids after high school is university. 

The initiative leverages Seabery’s Soldamatic augmented reality welding simulators to gamify the learning experience. 

“The gamification of learning is particularly effective when trying to encourage females, Indigenous Australians, people living with disabilities and those from a disadvantaged background into a career in STEM,” Crittenden said. 

“Training in schools must be refocused to showcase the opportunities in trades and encourage women and other underrepresented groups into careers in STEM,” he added. 

The industry representative has been collaborating with the NSW Department of Education on developing the Advanced Manufacturing School Outreach Program to create a practical solution to the skills crisis in Australia. 

According to the organisation’s CEO, an army of skilled workers, including welders, will be required to build and install the infrastructure needed to achieve the federal government’s 43 per cent emissions reductions target by 2030 and net zero by 2050. 

“Unless action is taken now, Australia will be at least 70,000 welders short by 2030. And welding is just one trade: similar skills deficient can be found in just about every trade across the nation.” 

A demonstration of the Advanced Manufacturing School Outreach Program is slated for demonstration at Dapto High School in New South Wales on 28 March.