An Albanese Labor Government will rebuild the nation’s manufacturing industry with a comprehensive plan to create jobs, boost vital skills, bring industry expertise back onshore and supercharge national productivity.

As part of his budget reply speech in Canberra tonight, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese unveiled A Future Made in Australia ­– Labor’s blueprint for local manufacturing jobs and skills – which includes:

  • National Rail Manufacturing Plan to see more trains built in Australia by local workers and ensure every dollar of federal funding spent on rail projects boosts local jobs and industry;
  • Defence Industry Development Strategy to leverage our $270 billion investment pipeline, develop sovereign industrial and research capabilities and build skills and expertise within the Australian workforce; and
  • An Australian Skills Guarantee to give apprentices, trainees and cadets a foot in the door when it comes to work on major Commonwealth projects. 

This will build on the jobs that will flow from Labor’s plans for an Australian Centre for Disease Control and a social housing repair program to get tradies back on the tools.

Labor’s National Rail Manufacturing Plan will undertake a national audit of passenger train capacity and condition, develop our rail procurement and manufacturing strategy, assess how we can grow jobs, bolster research and development and collaborate with innovation initiatives and organisations.

Importantly, it will reinstate the important role of the Rail Supplier Advocate cut by the Liberals in 2013 – to help small and medium-sized businesses identify export opportunities and get a foot in the door with government purchasing bodies.

The Defence Industry Development Strategy will put Australian industry, workers and security first with a framework to maximise and publicly disclose local content for all major defence material procurements and local defence contracts.

Finally, an Australian Skills Guarantee will ensure that one in 10 jobs on major federally funded infrastructure projects are given to apprentices, trainees or cadets.

This work will be supported by Jobs and Skills Australia – announced by Mr Albanese last year – an independent body designed to bring together the business community, states and territories, unions, education providers and regional organisations to match skills training with the evolving demands of industry.

Quotes attributable to Labor Leader Anthony Albanese:

“Australian workers are second to none – we’ve always been a nation respected across the globe for our strong work-ethic, our ambitious spirit and our innovative nature.”

“Australia can and should be a country that makes things. If we get it right, a strong local manufacturing sector can deliver world class products, incorporate the best technology and provide the good, secure jobs our workers need and deserve.”