Governments collect information on industries through programs such as Economic Activity Surveys to determine how industries are going. Are they increasing their productivity, how much employment do they have and what they expect for the future of a particular industry?
A Census provides is a critical resource that offers invaluable insights into how communities and industries are changing, ‘It is more than just a set of numbers and tables, census data tells us a powerful story about people and places.’
The information helps Government decide how they are going to allocate funding to industries to further growth and development.
So, what information does the Australian Frame & Truss industry have?
Nada, zip, zero or very little is the answer!
Years ago, I developed a National Database of fabricators which isn’t that too difficult (I’m told). However, keeping this up to date is a big task but we need more information about where every plant in Australia is located and how many plants there are in the country, state or region.
When I started the database in 2010, I had 365 plants listed in Australia. The updated figures from the July update was:
However even since doing this update, the figures have changed due to a few closures, few new plants and consolidation. This information is so I know where you are to hunt you down for membership, it is so I can provide an overview of what our industry looks like.
However, we need much more than this to help us create a true Industry Census that will in turn help each and every fabricator access funding for training, optimisation or safety initiatives just to name a few benefits. Again, I repeat this is not about FTMA gathering unnecessary information but about creating an overview of our industry that you can use to grow your business.
There is some information that is simply needed, and other information that is helpful such as:
- Employment numbers
- Gender Employment
- Indigenous Employment
- Formal training being undertaken
- Informal training being undertaken
In relation to training, the Australian Industry Skills Committee (AISC) has communicated to Skills Impact and ForestWorks that based on their analysis and investigation into low-use enrolments in the FWP, they intend to conduct a review of the Forest and Wood Products Industry Training Package. We need to use it or lose it and as outlined in the training article in this edition of FTMA News we are working on reviewing the qualifications for our sector as well as the implementation, but we need to know if businesses are doing other types of training.
Individual company information will not be shared with ANYONE. The information will be used as aggregated data but we need to paint and overview of the regions, states and national industry to help us attract much needed funds to our sector.
FTMA Australia will be working on the development of the Industry Census over the next month as we also update the National Database to ensure the right person is receiving the Census for completion.
We strongly urge all fabricators, whether members or not to participate as this aggregated data will help every fabricator pursue funding or the many beneficial government programs on offer.
If you have any questions please call me directly on 0418 226 242 otherwise, we hope you understand the importance of gathering this information and just like my database has never been shared, either will any of the individual information. I guarantee you that!