Victoria bolsters industry’s competitiveness with Digital Jobs for Manufacturing program

Image credit: peshkova/

The Victorian government continues to equip manufacturing workers with the digital skills required to boost competitiveness and create more future-proof jobs in the industry as part of its Digital Jobs for Manufacturing program. 

Launched in October 2022, the $4.5 million program has offered eligible manufacturing grants of up to $5,000 per employee to enrol in a free 12-week course with Victoria’s top universities, TAFEs and training providers. 

To date, the program has awarded a total of approximately $775,000 in funding to 109 Victorian manufacturers and has trained 226 employees. 

Minister for Industry and Innovation Ben Carroll visited Ballarat-based manufacturer SEM Fire and Rescue, one of the businesses benefitting from the Digital Jobs for Manufacturing program. 

One of Australia’s largest manufacturers of emergency service vehicles, SEM Fire and Rescue enrolled in the program to upskill staff and strengthen its digital capabilities to maintain a competitive advantage. 

The company enrolled its Mukesh Arella into an additive manufacturing course at the University of Melbourne, enhancing Arella’s skills in new manufacturing technologies including 3D printing, helping to improve the design of vehicle components. 

“At SEM Fire and Rescue, we believe by investing in local talent we can strengthen our manufacturing capabilities and customer solutions, which is why we’re proud to have participated in the program,” said SEM Fire and Rescue General Manager Mark Thomas. 

The Digital Jobs for Manufacturing program builds on the success of the $64 million Digital Jobs program that is retraining 5,000 mid-career Victorians and supporting them to transition into digital-focused jobs. 

Victoria is home to more than 24,000 manufacturing businesses and its 257,000-strong workforce is the largest in the country, contributing more than 30 per cent of the national manufacturing output. 

“There is a growing need for digital skills among Victorian companies and the Digital Jobs for Manufacturing program is enabling businesses like SEM Fire and Rescue have access to targeted training for their staff,” Minister Carroll said.