March 9, 2023

IBSA Group’s Industry Engagement Partner, Chris Hudson recently attended the AVALON 2023 Australian International Airshow and Aerospace & Defence Exposition held between 28 February – 5 March. As one of Asia-Pacific’s most prestigious events and the most comprehensive aviation, aerospace and defence exposition in the southern hemisphere, it attracts aviation enthusiasts, industry professionals, government officials, and military representatives from around the world.

A highlight was attending a briefing on the collaboration between UK company Satellite Applications Catapult and the Smartsat Cooperative Research Centre, where they announced the release of their international space capabilities catalogue, one of the many incredible showcases over the few days. The catalogue is a dashboard system created to identify companies in UK and Australia that are in the space ecosystem. It is a comprehensive source of information that outlines a number of organisations that work within the UK space ecosystem with over 400 companies being connected to the space industry in Australia.

Over the course of the expo, Chris also spoke with a variety of presenters and trade exhibitors regarding aligning the vocational education and training (VET) system with maintenance licensing requirements in the aerospace and defence industries. Chris believes this is crucial for ensuring that workers have the necessary skills and knowledge to perform their jobs safely and effectively saying, “This alignment helps to ensure that VET programs and qualifications meet the regulatory requirements of the industry. By developing robust and comprehensive training products, the industry can enhance the quality of its workforce and promote growth in the aerospace and defence sectors”. He believes that addressing skills shortages is also necessary and requires a multi-faceted approach, including investing in education and training programs, attracting and retaining talent and fostering innovation and collaboration across the industry.

As IBSA establishes the Manufacturing Jobs and Skills Council, it is looking forward to collaborating effectively with the other Jobs and Skills Councils to improve current, emerging and future labour market and workforce skills and training needs across the Aerospace and defence industries.