ASGA Meets with Federal Government on Vital Industry Issues
Successful meetings this month between the Australian Sign & Graphics Association (ASGA) with Federal Government Advisors have provided key Ministers with important information about the sign, display and wider graphics industry, and set strong foundations for future discussions on industry recognition, training and qualifications.
ASGA President, Mick Harrold, Vice President Damian Nielsen and former President Julie Rochester met with advisors to the Hon Brendan O’Connor MP, Minister for Skills, Education & Training, and the Hon Tony Burke MP, Minister for Employment & Workplace Relations.
The first meeting was to discuss the industry’s requirements for skilled workers, and training support for the next generation, and to request that the Sign & Graphics qualifications be reinstated on the National Skills Priority List. The second meeting was primarily to discuss the classification of the industry – currently listed only under Construction – and make an argument to consider also including it as part of the Manufacturing sector.
“The omission of the Sign & Graphics qualifications in the latest version of the National Skills Priority List was clearly a significant oversight and we believe due largely to a lack of understanding by government of the size and significance of the sector,” Harrold explained.
“The classification of signage as solely part of the Construction sector, while partly correct, also illustrates a general unfamiliarity with the scope and diversity of our sector. In fact, figures suggest more than 60% of the word done by businesses in the sector relates to manufactured or printed signage. The meetings gave us an opportunity to explain just how vital and irreplaceable our sector is, describe its scope and diversity more fully, and explain why we need a voice in these, and other important matters.”
The delegation provided the advisors with an information sheet outlining the range of products the sign and graphics sector is responsible for producing, together with some key industry facts gathered from recent sector surveys run by ASGA and supplier association Visual Connections. You can download the fact sheet prepared for the meeting here.
“The figures illustrated quite clearly that the industry is a huge contributor to the industry, with an estimated 10,000 businesses employing nearly 80,000 people and conservatively contributing $15 billion to the Australian economy,” Harrold said, noting that these figures did not include OoH nor the many related organisations which rely on the sector for their own business.
The meetings were very positive, with Harrold reporting that both sets of advisors are very open to ongoing dialogue to further understanding, progress ASGA’s current requests, and ensure the voice of our industry is heard on future matters of significance to the sector.
“The meetings represent a significant first step in promoting the significance and importance of the sign and graphics sector and we hope will be the start of closer collaboration with government on issues which impact our industry and ASGA members,” Harrold said.
“While the wheels of government can move slowly, we anticipate further dialogue and hope to have some positive outcomes to report over the coming months.”