I have spent the last month getting back out into the industry, speaking to Government Departments, Training Organisations and Consultants and I am sad to say nothing has changed. The same frustrations, small visions and limited communication is still the norm.
This post was to be about all the great things that are happening in the region and beyond. An inspired piece of writing. While there are a number of great things happening they do not really outweigh the naive perception of the region, the industry and the environment that industry is working in.
I put this down to the misrepresentation of industry to Government and the Government’s decision making based on this misrepresentation, allowing for a cycle to begin and become entrenched that will now be hard to stop.
Industry Mid North Coast has achieved significant success, however the success of working as a collaborative industry, building relationships within the region to allow for easier operational decision making, work overflow being distributed within the region and sharing of staff to create skills transfer is not considered success, why because we don’t meet each month in person we don’t have “networking event” where numbers could be counted or because we may not have it in a binder all documented using the latest buzz words.
I have extensively research the Government Funding offerings, the contracts that have been put out to tender for apprentice mentoring, and small business skills mentoring and I am questioning the investment for the return. Then again a self reporting system allows for boxes to be ticked and information to be massaged into what needs to be said.
Industry is not being heard so they have given up, Government is being taken advantage of and this is not helping the stability of our economy now or into the future. I believe both sides are being played.
This manufacturing and engineering industry is the most remarkable machine, the people within it are inspiring, intelligent, practical, hard working. They are the innovators the creators, everything you touch that is made had to come from this space. The industry is frustrated by the continued wasted investment, being taken advantage of by consultancy and salesman that prey upon the time poor and the service providers that charge us not on the work they do but based on our bottom line.
Industry is fed up, frustrated and disheartened. Change is needed and the injustices to be addressed. How? The only way to do it is by industry leading this change. Throughout history change is inspired and executed by those that need it the most not those that currently are making hay while the sun shines.
Time poor yes, but not stupid, start asking questions, disrupt the traditional ways we engage and allow others to engage with you. Question the membership dollars, the admin fees, the service fees and the hourly rate of consultants for what you are actually getting and Say NO. Unless it serves you or the greater Industry say NO and give your honest reasons why.
I will leave you with this. Those that work in the manufacturing, construction and engineering space are held accountable every day, rates are questioned every day and most sit and tender for work packages for weeks with less than a 10 % chance of winning or are in debt to come up with the latest innovation with a vision that is 5 maybe 10 years out.
Where is the vision and the accountability for the majority of the service industry and how can our Government have a vision, a plan and invest correctly if the information is not reflecting the true reality?