ANFF focus on building nanotech manufacturing workforce

Australia is ready to train the workforce necessary to meet the needs of nanotechnology industries, according to analysis conducted by the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF) and TAFE SA.

The joint research shows that Australia can leverage a foundation of resources and infrastructure to build a nanotech manufacturing workforce with only a few tweaks to existing course offerings.

Australians can gain the training, qualifications, and skills to work in tech industries that will play an intrinsic part in Australia’s future economy, according to ANFF.

ANFF CEO Dr Jane Fitzpatrick said: “Understanding that there is both a demand for, and a lack of micro/nanofabrication technicians was a key driver for ANFF to start working with TAFE SA.

“We wanted to proactively assess what was needed to cater for future workforce requirements as nanofabrication-based industries grow in Australia.

“We see that as the nation prioritises these technology areas, it is crucial that businesses can hire employees with the required skillsets to work in cleanroom spaces and understand the processes used to manufacture nanotechnologies.”

The jobs created in the sector would be ‘future-proof’, at the same time making it far easier to keep manufacturing on sovereign soil

Dr Fitzpatrick said: “An ever-increasing number of ANFF-enabled projects are reaching maturity, but if they’re to be manufactured on Australian soil we need to make sure the people with the required skills are available.”

Micro and nanofabrication is essential to furthering research into priority areas and translating the resulting technologies to the companies that will manufacture these technologies in the future.

ANFF highlighted the work of Micro-X, an SA-based advanced manufacturer that is a global leader in x-ray technologies utilising its unique carbon fibre nanotube x-ray emitter.

ANFF, Australia’s open access micro and nanofabrication network, was responding to concerns that Australia doesn’t currently offer the courses and diplomas to train micro/nanofabrication technicians.

However using existing lab technician-style courses within the TAFE offering and adding opportunities with ANFF short courses in nanofabrication, people can acquire the skills required to work in nanotechnology industries.

TAFE SA CEO David Coltman said: “Working in partnership with the ANFF we’ve been able to define the knowledge, skills and attributes that nanofabrication technicians will need and identify where existing qualifications could be useful in meeting these needs.

“Skilling students for the jobs of the future is an important priority at TAFE SA and it’s been encouraging to note that our qualifications are delivering skills that are highly transferable to this growing industry.”

Click here to view the “Nanotechnology and Nanofabrication Technicians: Final Report on Essential Knowledge, Skills and Attitudes” report.

Picture: ANFF Adelaide

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