ARM Hub identifies 3 factors to foster Australia’s manufacturing sector

ARM Hub chief executive Cori Stewart. Image supplied.

Cori Stewart, the chief executive officer and founder of ARM Hub, highlighted the three critical factors to boosting the Australian manufacturing industry during a recent House Standing Committee hearing in Brisbane. 

These factors include Australia’s population decline, which emphasises the need for further innovation that will drive new productivity into manufacturing and make the most value out of the nation’s working population. 

Australia’s current birth rate is at 1.6— a significantly smaller figure compared to the 2.1 rating a nation needs to maintain its population. This means that in 2050, Australia will have about 2.5 people of working age for every older Australian. 

“Australia needs a strong technology sector to do the jobs we don’t or cannot do. We need to use our human labour in more valuable and rewarding working roles if we want to secure a manufacturing workforce at all,” Stewart explained recently at the House Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Resources for Developing Advanced Manufacturing in Australia. 

The ARM Hub CEO also pointed to the urgent need to scale up technology businesses in Australia, like those in the robotics industry, which underpin the nation’s manufacturing ability. 

According to Stewart, the Australian government needs to invest in “intangibles” like software— the smart part of manufacturing. 

“It is critical we scale up manufacturing, which means accessible investment. It is the only way we can realise a net gain from cooperative trade policy settings with the US,” she added. 

These policies include the Inflation Reduction Act, the proposed Defence Production Act, and the Climate, Critical Minerals and Clean Energy Transformation Compact. 

Stewart also noted the crucial role of a coordinated national approach to industry policy to coalesce Australia’s initiatives to foster its manufacturing sector. 

“I would like to build on the idea of Australia’s network of Factories of the Future to facilitate open innovation and collaboration in manufacturing, which enables investment in key sovereign capabilities to be translated across industry sectors,” the chief executive said. 

ARM Hub calls for further investment in strategic programs for industry, such as technology accelerators, global supply chain innovation programs, workforce development programs, and manufacturing precincts of global renown.