In its Advanced Manufacturing Industry Transformation Plan announced on Monday, March 13, government has identified improving digital skills in the manufacturing workforce as a priority area for investment.

MAKE│NZ, LMAC New Zealand and The Learning Wave are encouraged to see the role of improving skills levels – especially digital skills – in the existing workforce being recognised when it comes to improving productivity to retain and improve the global competitive positioning of New Zealand’s manufacturers, many of whom export most of what they make.

Upskilling the existing workforce will ensure workers can retain their jobs in an industry that is rapidly modernising its processes, often accompanied by the introduction of digital technologies. Whilst employers retain already highly skilled and valuable workers at a time when there is a global talent shortage in manufacturing.

A workforce with requisite skills is a precondition for manufacturers investing in advanced processes and technologies, and investment in these processes and technologies will lead to increases in productivity and a more fulfilling work environment, allowing manufacturers to improve wages and automate tedious and/or dangerous process steps.

Our organisations have been working together over the past three years to establish the Digital Skills for Manufacturing programme, working closely with Hanga Aro Rua and Te Pukenga Competenz to achieve Micro credential accreditation. We have proved the impact of this training package to increase the skills of workers to ensure they are trained to utilise advanced technologies and processes implemented at their workplace. Training is work-based and delivered during work hours, resulting in minimal disruption to manufacturers operations – a key advantage at a time when many manufacturers are critically short of workers to fulfil existing orders. The extension of these training provisions to advanced & technical skills is well underway. Supported by a simple & effective digital skills gap assessment that provides detailed direction for what training and funding can support organisations growth, whilst acting as a maturity assessment to verify the results of upskilling endeavours.

MAKE│NZ, LMAC New Zealand and The Learning Wave will continue to work together, and seek to collaborate with government agencies and other organisations, to develop and deliver work-based training designed to further improve productivity and job fulfilment in New Zealand’s manufacturing industries.

The Learning Wave Make NZ LMAC