The manufacturing industry in Australia is a massively diverse sector, responsible for producing a range of products including food, textiles, pulp and paper, chemicals, metals, equipment and automobiles - basically, any process that turns raw materials into a finished product.
As with many countries around the world, the contribution of manufacturing to the Australian economy has been steadily declining, however, it still represents 6.5% of GDP and has recently recorded strong growth.
Manufacturing remains the country’s fourth-largest employer and is linked to other important industries, including primary production, construction, utilities and services.
Despite having one of the lowest concentrations of employees with a university degree, the manufacturing industry in Australia is still a large employer of graduates from disciplines including Engineering, IT, Industrial Design, Accounting, Mathematics and Science.
In recent years manufacturing in Australia has become knowledge-intensive, globalised and service-driven, focusing on digitisation, robotics and the engagement of research organisations. As a result, the industry is seeing a rise in skilled workers, particularly engineers, with manufacturing directly employing one in five engineers in Australia.
The companies employing the most graduates within the manufacturing sector are therefore those producing high-end innovative products, such as pharmaceuticals, scientific equipment and medical instruments.
Large companies offering graduate programs include:
The Australian government is actively pursuing initiatives to increase the number of graduates employed in the manufacturing sector, which should see the number of graduate positions increase.
NSW has the largest manufacturing industry in Australia and is home to 60% of the country’s regional manufacturing headquarters. This has turned Sydney into Australia’s major industrial city, with a high-tech manufacturing industry that is continuing to grow. As a result, the majority of manufacturing graduate jobs are located in Sydney or regional NSW, including the Hunter Valley.