The Australian boothworld industry is set to see a significant drop in its workforce over the next four years.
Speaking to the ABC, WAGP’s chief executive, James Gartland, said the industry’s current “downturn in growth” was likely to persist for a “very long time”.
“The biggest reason is that the industry is being challenged by technology, with new technologies, and we have a very high unemployment rate in the industry,” he said.
“It’s been very hard on the people that have been here and have stayed, so I think that’s the big issue.”
“In the longer term, there’s no doubt we’ll see the jobs going out.”
Mr Gartartland said there was a “real concern” the booth industry was in a “dangerous” situation, and the industry was already experiencing “a significant increase in costs”.
“We’ve been hit by a lot of technological change, and now that the cost of goods is becoming more expensive, we’re going to be seeing a significant reduction in jobs in the future,” he told the ABC.
“So it’s a very dangerous situation.”
Mr George said it was clear the industry faced “a major transition” from one that was focused on “high-end manufacturing” to one that needed to focus on “small-scale manufacturing”.
“As the industry becomes more reliant on big-ticket products like furniture and apparel, it will be harder for the small businesses to compete, because they will not be able to compete,” he added.
“That’s what we’re trying to get to where we’re getting to, so that we can start to bring back small-scale, high-end industries.”WAGS is the largest boothworld company in Australia, with around 1,000 employees.
The company employs about 10,000 people across the country.
It said it would take some time to fully understand the impact of the “new technologies”, but the industry had to “focus on its core business”.
“In order to be successful, we need to remain committed to our core business,” the company said.