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Plastics, Rubber and Cablemaking

The Plastics, Rubber and Cablemaking industry comprises, basic polymer manufacturing, polymer product manufacturing, natural rubber product manufacturing and electric cable and wire manufacturing. Nine out of every ten businesses are plastic manufacturers and are one of the second largest sectors in the manufacturing industry.  

What does this industry cover?

The Plastic, Rubber and Cablemaking industry manufacture standardised products such as plastic packaging and technological products such as fibre optic cable that supply a range of industries that include electrical, medical, communications and mining sectors.

Plastic manufacturing has many sub-sectors in which they can produce items such as garbage bags and food wrapping, polymer filler products to insulate walls and ceilings and fibreglass products for boat repair and swimming pools.

Job hunting preparation

The top skills required by this sector are: language, literacy and numeracy (LLN), STEM, design mindset, critical thinking, problem solving and managerial and leadership skills.

Plastics and Rubber production machine operators work in most parts of Australia and are in manufacturing, mining and construction.

In response to the ban of single use plastic bags and the consumer increasing concern for the environment some companies are experimenting with manufactured recycled plastic offerings.

Information for further research

Industry information is published by peak level associations, government and major employers.  Accessing industry association sites, including member lists, is a good way of building up an understanding of an industry.  Visiting employer websites and looking for careers or employment menus helps identify how employers recruit and the skills they are recruiting.

Employment and wage data for this industry

Apprenticeships Employment Size

This is a small industry for Australian Apprenticeship commencements. In the year to September 2021, commencements were: 226

Source: VOCSTATS, extracted on 29/03/2022. AATIS analysis.

Commencements Change

Commencements in the year to September 2021 in this industry have increased, compared with the previous year.

Source: VOCSTATS, extracted on 29/03/2022. AATIS analysis.

Apprentice Employment Outcomes

For Australian Apprentice graduates from this industry, employment outcomes are high.

Source: NCVER National Student Outcomes Survey, 2020, unpublished. AATIS analysis.

Industry Employment Size

This is a small sized industry compared with other Australian industries.

Source: National Skills Commission, 2022. AATIS analysis.

Industry Employment Change

In the next 5 years, change in employment in this industry is predicted to increase.

Source: National Skills Commission, 2022. AATIS analysis.

Industry Wage

The average wage of all employees in this industry is medium.

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2022. AATIS analysis.

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