Canberra backs STEM education

Young Australians will have the chance to get involved in practical projects that open up the world of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with $2 million available from the federal government. Industry minister Karen Andrews has announced the opening of applications for Maker Projects: Community STEM Engagement Grants. Maker Projects grants support STEM-related organisations…

Apprentice numbers down as training effort in freefall

Australia’s latest apprentice and trainee data shows a continuation of the long term slump which has halved Australia’s training effort in only seven years. The number of Australians in training, measured by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), has been in a savage slump since the election of the Coalition in Canberra. The…

‘Robotic blacksmithing’: A technology that could revive US manufacturing

By Glenn S. Daehn, Fontana Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, The Ohio State University Although it may not be obvious, there’s a close link between manufacturing technology and innovation. Elon Musk often talks of the “machines that build the machines” as being the real enabler in both his space and automotive businesses. Using less-expensive,…

Government funded training effort appears to rise, but is it real

Analysis by Peter Roberts The number of students in government-funded training in Australian has shown a rare rise, after years of bad news for vocational training in Australia. A report by the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER) shows a rise in government-funded students this year. However the research organisation warns that the rise…

Smaller manufacturers and the big challenge of digitalisation

It’s been said that Australia’s population of enterprises has a “missing middle.”    Within manufacturing, there is certainly a heavy weighting towards the smaller end of town. A count published in the Australian Industry Group’s Australian Manufacturing in 2019 report found that of 47,530 employing companies, 87 per cent were between 1 and 19 employees…

2020 WorldSkills tradie competition to be held August 13 – 15 in Perth

More than 500 competitors and 20,000 visitors are expected to attend the WorldSkills Australia National Championships, which have been announced for August 13 – 15 at Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre next year.   The national vocational and educational training (VET) competition will feature as many as 60 skills categories. It is held in conjunction…