Tony Schreiber

Message from the Chair – June 2023

Innovation and collaboration

Welcome to the Winter edition of steel Australia. The feature of this edition is Innovation and Collaboration—two concepts that are vital to the Australian steel supply chain.

Innovation is an essential ingredient when it comes to increasing efficiency, reducing waste, and improving product quality. It can drive advances in materials, manufacturing processes, and logistics, enabling the industry to compete globally and respond to market shifts. New technologies can also aid in reducing the environmental impact of steel production, a crucial aspect given increasing regulations and consumer demand for sustainability.

Collaboration plays a significant role in disseminating these innovations throughout the supply chain. By fostering partnerships between suppliers, manufacturers, research institutions, and government agencies, the industry can pool resources, share knowledge, and accelerate the implementation of innovative practices. Furthermore, collaboration can help manage risks and uncertainties inherent in any supply chain, strengthening its resilience.

Together, innovation and collaboration can ensure the Australian steel industry remains competitive, sustainable, and resilient in an evolving global market.

Recent ASI initiatives

The Australian Steel Institute (ASI) understands how important it is to attract and retain good people, particularly in a labour market that is the tightest that many of us can recall. The number of occupations suffering from the skills shortage has almost doubled since 2021, with some roles having thousands of unfilled vacancies. 

To help combat this skills shortage, we recently launched the ASI Career Centre—a one-stop shop for advertising, finding and preparing candidates for a position in the steel supply chain. 

ASI has also created a range of resources designed to help businesses and individuals match the right people to the right job in the steel industry. Our resources can help individuals make informed career decisions and increase their marketability, while enabling companies to develop their workforce, optimise recruitment strategies, and boost productivity. Our resources include a steel industry induction course, information on topics like business visas and careers in fabrication, and a university support pack.

The ASI is also enjoying a strong response to its campaign promoting the benefits of durable and stylish Australian steel in home renovations. 

The roll former-funded Choose Steel campaign employs a website (choosesteel.com.au) to promote steel as the preferred building material for home renovations. 

The website features a collection of compelling case studies, practical dos and don’ts for home renovation, and a comprehensive list of steel suppliers specialising in home renovations. Over two thousand users visited the website in the first two weeks.

The ad component of the campaign employs digital billboards at key Melbourne transport locations including motorways and social media posts on Instagram and Facebook pointing home renovators to the Choose Steel website and its list of steel suppliers. 

Success could see the ASI roll out the campaign to other states – and a range of other steel products targeted using the same Choose Steel formula. Choose Steel will also be theme for the Australian Steel Convention in Melbourne from September 10 to 12.

Finally, Steel Sustainability Australia (SSA)—ASI’s new certification program that provides a clear pathway for steel businesses to operate more responsibly and transparently while being part of an environmentally and socially sustainable future—has been working with several steel distributors, manufacturers, roll formers and fabricators on certification. 

As a result, ACT Steelworks has become the first company to achieve SSA certification. In addition, Liberty Primary Steel, InfraBuild and BlueScope have become the first manufacturing mills to become ‘verified suppliers’ under the SSA program. 

Tony Schreiber
Chair of the Australian Steel Institute

 

  

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