Neil Douglas Reilly

putting it all together

Australia’s manufacturing sector is one of the greatest contributors to the nation’s GDP, but it faces significant challenges today. Australia still depends on international exports of its primary commodities, including iron ore, copper and coal, to support the high wages and living costs it enjoys. Recent, damaging droughts have severely impacted agriculture, and Australia has a lower labor supply than the European Union. Any change to the above two factors will have significant implications for Australia’s overall economy. Australia is a relatively young nation, having only attained dominion status in 1901. With around 23% of Australia’s population aged over 65, there is a growing demand for skilled laborers to support the manufacturing sector.

The Australian steel industry

It’s hard to overstate the importance of steel in the Australian economy. On an estimated 15 billion person-days of work a year, the Australian steel industry provides jobs for around 500,000 people. In fact, it’s the biggest manufacturing sector in the country. It’s not hard to see why. In fact, there is little in the Australian steel industry that could be considered out of date or redundant. It is still one of the few major manufacturing sectors where you can still see skilled and dedicated workers working with the latest technology, not to mention around the world. But the steel industry is also, arguably, in trouble. Even if Australia was to spend more money on social and public infrastructure over the next decade, the steel industry would still struggle.

The key to a post-pandemic future

Australia, with its geographical isolation and national geographic consciousness, is one of the world’s leading examples of how a country can be independent and entirely self-sufficient. Bansal believes that post-pandemic conditions in the world could see a resurgence of local manufacturing for things like steel, cement and other building materials, as well as building new infrastructure to support it. The health of a country’s manufacturing sector helps feed the prosperity of the overall economy, and the important part that Bansal sees in keeping it alive and thriving is the workforce. Australia, according to Bansal, is a great example of how a country can thrive through technological changes.

Future Post-pandemic

With more than 30 projects under his belt and an MBA from the prestigious Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, Mr. Bansal has seen first-hand how important it is for infrastructure to be planned and executed responsibly. He believes that infrastructure should improve lives and create opportunities for everyone – not just those with economic power.

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