The Composites Industry of Western Australia – Skills Scoping Study

Earlier this year, Composites Australia commenced a scoping study on skills in the composites sector in Western Australia. The objectives were to obtain an understanding of the value and contribution of the composites industry in Western Australia to the state’s economic base by mapping the key features of the industry, its existing labour force, skills and training provision, and future predicted needs.

Written by Kerryn Caulfield, Executive Director for Composites Australia Inc.

The study was initiated by The Resource Industry Training Council which is a state government funded joint venture between Chamber of Minerals and Energy and the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association Ltd.

Composites Australia Inc. (CA) is the peak industry body for the composites sector in Australia. For over 40 years, CA has continued to represent hundreds of composite manufacturers, practitioners, suppliers, R&D agencies and education institutions. CA manages an annual program of industry development events, including conferences, international trade delegations, seminars and workshops. It participates in government and industry-driven committees and forums to formulate policy at state and federal levels.

The association also implements government initiatives aiming to build capability and strengthen industry sectors and has conducted several industry scoping studies.

Over a period of months the consultants held interviews with selected stakeholders, conducted an online survey and analysed data and industry reviews that have gone before this one. International and national case studies were also analysed for best practice and context. Enrolments and completions of AQF accredited courses were also reviewed.

A copy of the report can be found at this link.

Those who work within the sector are a resilient mob that have survived changing consumer trends and many ‘boom and bust’ economic cycles, as well as being marginalized in the procurement practices of government and the resources sector in recent times. Despite these headwinds, over 80 percent of those surveyed were optimistic about the future and 85 percent expected to increase their workforce in the next five years, including composite/fibreglass technicians.