THE QUEENSLAND government has today officially opened the $10m Cairns Manufacturing Hub and has released a new plan to help skill up Queensland’s future workforce.

Minister for Manufacturing Cameron Dick said the hub, located at TAFE Queensland’s Cairns Campus, was one of three hubs being established in regional Queensland through a $30m, three-year Queensland Government investment.

“The opening of the Cairns Manufacturing Hub continues our delivery of facilities and services that will strengthen and grow regional manufacturing, skills and jobs,” Mr Dick said.

“The Cairns Manufacturing Hub will initially focus on growing the marine, aviation and food production sectors, and it’s already delivering results.”


General manager (manufacturing) of Cairns shipyard company Norship, Steve Howarth, said the Cairns Manufacturing Hub was an important initiative for regional businesses.

“Making a facility like the hub available for local businesses shows excellent foresight for the important role advanced manufacturing will play,” Mr Howarth said.

Key achievements include:

  • Developments towards an advanced fibre composites maintenance and repair facility with access to 3D printing technologies for aviation, defence and superyachts
  • The delivery of advanced welding training to support the marine sector, particularly for future defence and commercial sustainment work
  • Funding of $650,000 over three years to support the FNQ Food Incubator, a group of local food experts collaborating to support early-stage food processors in FNQ.

Skills Development Minister Shannon Fentiman also launched the Skills Implementation Plan for Advanced Manufacturing, to help employees build a skilled manufacturing workforce.

“We have consulted with employers, workers, unions and the education and training sector to create a plan to develop the manufacturers, engineers, scientists and technicians of tomorrow,” Mr Dick said.