Ai Group Talent Solutions are excited for the ongoing success of our Higher Apprenticeships program with the news of increased funding becoming available. The Andrews government has allocated $2 million in funding to set up the Advanced Manufacturing Industry 4.0 Hub at Swinburne University, which is where our higher apprentices are completing their training.

The funding will help to run training courses using robotics and advanced technologies, prepping students for the workforce of the future.

The new hub will be housed in Swinburne’s world-class Factory of the Future, pioneering a new model of university-industry collaboration resulting in the creation of new technologies and business strategies.

Collaboration with local manufacturers is a large point of focus, with desired outcomes being to develop digitisation strategies for their business and provide them with the training required to utilise Industry 4.0 technologies such as AI, VR, the Internet of Things and smart robotics.

This makes it Australia’s first fully immersed Industry 4.0 facility, featuring innovative and forward-thinking technologies like MindSphere, a cloud-based Industrial IoT operating system developed by Ai Group Talent Solutions partners, Siemens.

While announcing the funding allocation, the Victorian Minister for Industry and Employment Ben Carroll noted that “the hub will help local manufacturers unlock the opportunities that exist with digital technologies to transform their operations and deliver cutting edge products and services.”

The deputy vice-chancellor of Research and Development at Swinburne, Professor Aleksandar Subic, emphasised the importance of adopting future-forward digital technologies and processes in order to remain competitive in the international manufacturing environment. Professor Subic also represented the university sector on the Prime Minister’s Industry 4.0 Taskforce, spearheading the Industry 4.0 Testlab national strategy.

The significance of the Factory of the Future and the Higher Apprenticeships taking place there was summarised by Professor Subic with his statement that: “Industry 4.0 is all about the next stage of development in the manufacturing sector driven by digitalisation. Automation and the Industrial Internet of Things in particular are transforming the manufacturing industry, presenting us with new business opportunities through better integration with the global supply chain.”

The hub will utilise the $100 million invested by Swinburne to provide advanced manufacturing infrastructure and expertise to local manufacturers, which is also supported by the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre and the Innovative Manufacturing Co-operative Research Centre.

The facility will also continue to promote direct student experiences with industry and researchers to develop new technologies and practices.

By linking higher education and vocational training through Higher Apprenticeships, Swinburne and Ai Group Talent Solutions’ efforts are helping to create a highly skilled and digitally savvy workforce, with courses being developed based on Industry 4.0 strategy. The Industry 4.0 Higher Apprenticeship course pioneers this approach, and is set to make leaps and bounds success thanks to the increased funding from the Andrews government.