Manufacturing News

Employment on the rise in regional Geelong

Manufacturing News

The Geelong region has proof of what was until now only supported anecdotally – Australia’s regions are growing manufacturing jobs.

Census data available this week from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveals an extraordinary story about Geelong manufacturing – manufacturing employment in the Geelong and Colac regions grew for the first time in recent memory.

The Geelong Manufacturing Council has been analysing the data as part of a detailed study of the region’s manufacturing landscape.

According to GMC: “We knew going into the study – involving more than 35 interviews and a deep dive into the available statistics – that we were seeing bright spots and remarkable examples of success: manufacturers increasing their capabilities and diversifying into lucrative new markets.

“From 2016 to 2021, regional manufacturing employment increased by 360 jobs to a total number employed of 9513.

“The significance of this goes beyond the numbers. Australian manufacturing employment has been in fairly steady decline since the 1970s.”

In fact since the last Census collection in 2016, the recent growth occurred despite the departure of Ford’s motor vehicle production in North Geelong, and in the wake of the Point Henry aluminium smelter closure.

The Geelong figures mirror anecdotal evidence from other regions that are growing fast – Maryborough and Gladstone in Queensland come to mind.

As part of the GMC Manufacturing Insights work, to be released in November, the council spoke to innovative manufacturers who had found a new range of customers, had developed differentiated products and opened doors into interesting markets.

Manufacturing in Geelong and the region contributes $1.2 billion of direct value-added* to the economy.

Picture: Geelong Manufacturing Council

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