Job Market Update - Manufacturing Sector

Luke Reilly, Senior Consultant in Engineering & Operations provides his view on the current employment marketing within the manufacturing sector.

The cost-cutting trend within the Australian manufacturing market is continuing, with evidence mounting in the last quarter:

  • Reckitt Benckiser plan to close their only manufacturing site in Australia in favour of importing product manufactured from their overseas plant
  • Heinz Australia reduced headcount across Australia so it could capitalise on lower wage costs and a more relaxed IR climate at the manufacturing plant in New Zealand
  • Imperial Tobacco are set to follow suit with an announcement it will also move manufacturing across the ditch
  • Toyota is in the process of terminating 350 workers from its Altona plant

And so the trend of downsizing, outsourcing, and offshoring continues, with the more senior end of the market (opportunities over $150K) feeling the effects the most.

In terms of industries:

Mining - Continues to boom, driving solid growth in companies supplying product and equipment into this 'saviour sector' of the Australian economy. I spoke to the GM of one company recently who said they can't produce enough product to keep up with demand.

Consumer Durables - David Jones suspended trading in March, evidence of the continuing struggle in the consumer durables retail sector.

Food and Beverage - Still feeling the pressure on price from retailers, as well as the effect of an increase in private label. Woolworths, for example, launched their first private label specific advertising campaign this quarter.

But it may not be all doom & gloom.

The Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC) has been lobbying the Australian Government to do more to regulate the power of the supermarkets, so the industry can return to growth. Read our upcoming blog post for details of Kate Carnell's final address as the CEO of the AFGC.

What's your view of the current market?