The Centre for New Industry is built on four research pillars: Industrial development and diversification, Skills for industry, Industrial standards and New industrial models.

1. Industrial Development and Diversification

Rather than “picking winners”, modern industrial policy encourages a collaborative, tripartite approach to economic development that brings together government, industry and workers to set targets for industry growth, and to share and distribute the associated benefits. An investment in creating new industries, regardless of the ‘business case’, presents countries the world over with opportunities to produce value, both economic and social.

Crucially, a mission-oriented approach to industry policy rethinks ‘the role of government in the economy, putting purpose first and solving problems that are important to citizens. It means transforming government from being merely an “enabler” or even a “stifler” of innovation to becoming the engine of innovation’ 1

Modern industry policy must also ensure that the benefits are distributed widely, by including workers and their representatives in the planning, execution and delivery of industry growth plans. It also requires the implemetation of adequate local content requirements and training ratios that maximize outcomes for local suppliers and workforces.

Research in this space will analyse Australia’s contemporary industrial profile and make the case for economic diversification. We will utilise research that targets Australia’s economic complexity and increases our industrial base, with regionally specific solutions.

1. Mazzucato, M., 2020, Mission Economy: A Moonshot Guide to Changing Capitalism, p. 123

2. Skills for

Australians are more educated than ever, yet employment prospects are varied. In particular the growth in the knowledge and service sectors has led to a paradoxical situation where there has been some limited growth of highly paid, knowledge economy jobs and a substantial increase in low paid, service sector jobs. This has led to a ‘hollowing out’ of the skills base, where demand for intermediate skills in traditionally blue collar professions has been eroded, and there has been insufficient investment in attracting or growing new industries that could utilise this crucial skills base.

Increasingly, the choice for new entrants to the labour market is between investing more in costly additional years of tertiary education to compete for the small number of available jobs the knowledge economy, or work jobs in the service sector that offer low wages, little security and often don’t utilise entrants’ tertiary qualifications or allow them to develop new skills. However a myth still persists that education is the best predictor of future employment outcomes, despite evidence that the causal relationship between education and employment has been eroded over time.

Research in this space includes analysis of Australia’s vocational education and training (VET) sector; the school-to-work transition; active labour market policy; internships and work experience; the portability of skills; deskilling, skills fragmentation and micro credentialling.

3. Industrial

At a time when cost of living pressures are rising and wages have been stagnant for decades, the need to address industrial conditions and relations is paramount. The focus on smaller and smaller units of bargaining have led to a generational experience of precarity, pressure and powerlessness. By focusing on industry approaches to workplace standards, we believe that a new economy can be built on employment that is secure, safe and sustainable.

Research in this space explores best practice approaches to industrial relations; the use of sectoral and industrial level bargaining; industrial rights; renumeration and classification; worker voice and representation; and industrial integrity.

4. New Industrial

As our industrial profile changes, we need new ways of approaching economic management that maximise the benefits to all stakeholders in the economy, not just shareholders.

This research pillar pursues a circular, rather than extractive, model of local development, one which seeks to make the most of local institutions, businesses and networks that are anchored in the community. By placing emphasis on place-based approaches, local ownership, economic multipliers and collaboration, we will seek to create new industrial models that deepen our economic democracy and maximise the benefits returned to the community.

Research in this space includes analysis of cooperative and mutual business models; worker representation; corporate social responsibility; remunicipalisation of essential services; community wealth building; and economic democracy.


We rely on supporters to fund our operations. We only work with partners who share our values and our vision for the future. Support can be offered in a number of ways, and any funding provided is tax deductible due to Per Capita’s status as a registered charity under the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC).

Sponsorship opportunities available include:

  • Core Funder
  • Supporter
  • Project/Commissioned work

If you would like to discuss sponsorship options, please contact Centre Director, Shirley Jackson:

Shirley Jackson
Director, Centre for New Industry
Mob: 0423 504 191