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Courtesy of Food Industry Association of Queensland (FIAQ) Submission for the Queensland Jobs Growth Summit 2016.

Manufacturing is the sixth largest employer in Queensland, employing 175,000 Queenslanders, around 7 percent of the state’s workforce.

Food Manufacturing is by far the largest employer in the manufacturing sector in Queensland Food manufacturing employs around 47,000 people (ABS, 2016), around 27 percent of the manufacturing workforce in Queensland.

 

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Figure 1: Manufacturing by industry subdivision Queensland February 2016. Click to see full size.

This is a substantial employer in its own right, employing more than twice the amount of people currently employed in coal industry, and almost ten times as many people employed in the oil and gas extraction in Queensland.

Commonwealth Department of Employment’s employment growth projections estimate that the Food Manufacturing will grow by 2.5 percent nationally over the forecast period to 2019.

FIAQ believe that the employment growth potential in the industry in Queensland could be enhanced if the industry adapts innovative ways to attract and develop talent to combat the skills shortage. This especially applies to regional areas.

By matching the skills of regional and urban youth with real industry demand for skilled workforce in the food processing industry, there is an opportunity for the industry and government to make a significant contribution to tackling unemployment in Queensland with long term sustainable jobs, particularly in regional areas.