The fabricated metal products category employed 59,300 people as at February 2014, representing 6% of the total of 949,700 people employed in the manufacturing industry.
Walter Suber, vice-president of the Manufacturing and Engineering Institute of Australia (MEIA) points out that the metals industry looks nothing like it used to.
“Factories are often multi-million dollar businesses that need to have multi-million dollar components: lasers, turret machines, benders and folders, robotics,” he said.
“You need to have that equipment to be competitive on the world’s platform… You’ve got to update your software regularly – the days of just having a few benders and folders and marking things out by hand and a measuring tape are long gone.”
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