Advanced Manufacturing Opens Career Opportunities

Study Gold Coast’s Careers Alliance Network connects professional career influencers with industry to leverage and optimise career pathways for students. The program widens the scope of employment options for students and graduates through the creation of professional networking and partnership development opportunities.

The most recent Careers Alliance event focused on the Gold Coast’s advanced manufacturing sector and was held at the Australian Industry Trade College, an industry established institution that helps young people to pursue their chosen careers through apprenticeships and traineeships.   

AITC’s Campus Manager Richard Petherbridge spoke of the opportunities in advanced manufacturing and how his college was embracing and adapting to new technologies within its curriculum. One example was how they had utilised the science of green, blue and grey hydrogen and its energy potential for the future by developing a hydrogen fuel cell model car to demonstrate the possibilities.

Representatives from three Gold Coast based advanced manufacturers were guest speakers at the event, all shedding light on their businesses and the career opportunities in their industries.

Why space?   

Carly Collins, Human Resources Manager at Gilmour Space Technologies challenged a packed room of career influencers with a simple question: “Why space? Every time you use your phone or a Bluetooth device you’re using services in space. As human kind progresses we’ll increasing use more services in space,” she explained.

 Carly went on to emphasise that contrary to the usual perceptions wasn’t just for engineers and scientists, with Gilmour offering career opportunities in a host of other fields, including welders, machine apprentices, administration, marketing and accounts. The local aerospace company currently has around 30 vacancies for staff and they are proactively working with institutions and organisations (eg: universities and Women in STEM) to further develop career pathways.

Sun, Sea, Surf,,, Space! Carly Collins changing Gold Coast perceptions

 The excitement of having Australia’s leading aerospace company on the Gold Coast was clearly evident among the practitioners and influencers as company founder Adam Gilmour talked about how the rapid growth of Gilmour was advancing careers within their organisation. “We believe we can train any engineering graduate to build rockets. Within a year of graduating from university we have engineers in charge of sub sections of our rocket manufacturing,” he said.

Sustainable futures

When you think of the term ‘advanced manufacturing’ environmental conservation is an unlikely concept that immediately comes to mind, yet VISY is a global pioneer in sustainable practices.  

VISY’s Paul Bibby says the company is so much more than recycling paper and cardboard. “Our goal is to reduce our reliance on natural resources to create a more sustainable future and has been since our inception more than 70 years ago. We create sustainable packaging solutions.”

The VISY beverage can plant at Yatala on the northern Gold Coast produces 2.5 million cans a day, and by 2025 their plant at Yatala will produce one billion glass containers per year utilising a closed loop system to minimise environmental impact through the production and recovery cycle. Paul Bibby says the company’s strong environmental credentials are a magnet for environmentally conscious millennials and Gen Z’s looking for ideal careers.

Lighting the way forward

Also based at Yatala is Simtech, a company that manufactures and installs bespoke LED technologies, including 3D, transparent LED, as well as curved and flexible LED screens. Simtech’s business is expanding rapidly and will open a manufacturing plant in the US by 2023 to keep up with client demand in America. As Simtech has grown, so too have the career possibilities within the company, including welding, painting, assembling, graphic design and technical development.

The company has taken on a progressive role in training, apprenticeships, work experience and recruitment, developing new career pathways. Bond University alumnus Jack Curtis spent his first year with Simtech working directly on the floor learning the ins-and-outs of the product and the manufacturing process. Now, after being promoted to a sales executive role he travels globally, working with some of the most recognisable and established brands in the world.

“It’s incredible to see so much growth in manufacturing on the Gold Coast, it’s really encouraging for people wanting to advance their careers here – there’s just so much opportunity,” he said.

As the career and education professionals mingled with industry over morning tea following the event, many admitted that they were unaware that some of these businesses were based on the Gold Coast and as such the opportunities they offered. With advanced manufacturing seen as one of the real growth sectors for the city’s future, the career possibilities and their potential are only now beginning to be realised.

Careers Alliance members mingle with industry