It seems the Australian governments educational push towards a white collar workforce over the last 10 years have left them with a problem. Generation Y'er don't seem to be turning to their parents saying "when I grow up, I want to work in manufacturing!", so to counter this the leaders of our great country have embarked on a novel campaign to entice youngsters back into the field with a website and a TV campaign headed up by none other than Dave Hughes.
Being that this is a marketing blog, I wont go into detail about my thoughts on the future of Australian maufacturing and the influence China has (and will continue to have) on the western world. But I would like to take a closer look at the campaign from a Gen Y marketing perspective.
Dave Hughes may not be the ideal character to promote the cause and heres why:-
Firstly, Hughesy plays up his persona in the media as being the average bloke, the kind of guy you would expect to find working on the factory floor of a cheese factory (a job that his brother actually does), cracking jokes during smoko. But from looking around the Its Your Future site it seems that this is exactly the type of image they are trying to steer the youth away from.
Secondly, as much as Hughesy comes across as the "maunfacturing industry" type of guy, he actually works on the media (with regular spots of TV and his own breakfast radio show) an industry that is very attractive (and consequently overrun) with the current batch of Gen Y'ers seeking a career path. So by making Hughesy as the spokesman on the basis that the youth look up to him the government actually runs the risk of steering kids up a totally non-manufacturing path.
That said its great to see a guy who has spent years doing stand up routines about his life on the dole now being employed by the government to promote kids getting a job.