(Above l-r) MISA’s Chris Hudson and Philip Clarke on a guided tour of the Visual Exposure facility at West Sunshine by Visual Exposure owner and ASGA president Mick Harrold
Australian Sign and Graphics Association (ASGA) president Mick Harrold has held an in-depth meeting with representatives of the Manufacturing Industry Skills Alliance (MISA), following recent meetings with Federal Government advisors.
The meeting last week, held with the MISA’s special advisor Philip Clarke and industry engagement partner Chris Hudson, was the next step in ASGA’s campaign to raise the profile of the sign, print and graphics sector with government decision-makers.
In particular, discussions with MISA focused on substantiating the association’s contention that the signage and wide-format print industry should rightly be considered part of the manufacturing sector, as well as in its current classification under ‘construction’, and exploring opportunities to boost training and skills development.
MISA is the Jobs and Skills Council (JSC) for the manufacturing industry. Industry-owned and industry-led, it works with employers, unions, educators, learners, governments and other stakeholders to support the development of the skilled workforces which enable modern manufacturing and associated industries to succeed.
One of its key functions is to identify and deliver the workforce skills needed for a strong, competitive and sustainable economy. It does this through partnerships between industry and the vocational education and training sector, and by advocating for industry, working closely with government to create efficient and sustainable training systems – something which is vital for the future of our industry.
Harrold invited the MISA delegation to meet at his business, Visual Exposure, in Sunshine in Melbourne’s West, where he was able to provide a more ‘hands-on’ understanding of the diversity and outputs of sign, print and graphics businesses.
After a briefing which covered the size and scope of the industry, the challenges the sector is facing, and the skills required to capitalise on opportunities for growth and development, Clarke and Hudson toured the operation where a range of projects from channel lettering, to illuminated signage, printed pylon signs and digital billboards were in production.
They then shared the role MISA plays to support industry, and the potential opportunities available to ASGA and its members.
This included a productive discussion about how sign, print and graphics is classified and the potential for the sector to be included under ‘Manufacturing’ for government purposes, as well as in its current classification of ‘construction’.
“Following our recent meetings with government advisors, we were very pleased to have the opportunity to meet with the Manufacturing Industry Skills Alliance and we are grateful to Phil and Chris for taking the time to come out and get a better understanding of the signage industry,” Harrold said after the meeting.
“JSCs play such an important role in supporting and advocating for industry and they do so in partnership with those industries. These initial discussions have set a foundation for an ongoing partnership, and while there is some further investigation needed, and more discussions to be had, I am sure the conversation started today will continue and lead to some very positive outcomes.
“Certainly, the ASGA will continue to pursue all opportunities to meet with ministers, ministerial staff and organisations like MISA to further the interests of our members and all those involved in our sector.”
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