OpenShutters is a family-owned business manufacturing bespoke timber shutters and louvres in Australia for over two decades. An important part of the local community, the OpenShutters factory on the NSW Central Coast has been offering career opportunities to hundreds of people over the years in addition to supporting an extended family of specialist local suppliers.

The manufacturing industry continues to be the fourth largest employer in Australia, with almost one million workers gainfully employed in this sector. Though some jobs may have been lost to robots in overseas factories, employment in the Australian wood product manufacturing sector has risen by 12,400 or 29.6% over the last decade.

Training young staff for the future

OpenShutters has taken the initiative to sustain the Made in Australia theme by training young staff to carry on the craftsmanship of the older generation.

ABS statistics reveal that the Australian manufacturing industry is facing the problem of an ageing workforce, with 39.7% of manufacturing workers in the age group of 45-64 years, compared to 35.6% across all industries.

Open believes that one needs to be regenerative in order to be sustainable. For a business to be sustainable, it is important to train the next generation of staff to carry on the tradition of the more experienced craftspeople.

Open’s continuing program of training and development has won the company several awards including the Australian Business Limited President's Award for Education and Training; State Training Award, NSWBC; Host Employer of the Year, Central Coast Group Training (two years in a row); Large Employer of the Year state finalist, Group Training Association of NSW; Employer of the Year, CC Business Excellence Awards; and Long Serving Host Employer Award, 15 years, Central Coast Group Training.

Backed by a team of qualified carpenters, joiners, cabinet makers and other specialists passing on decades of knowledge to young trainees, OpenShutters sees a bright future for manufacturing quality shutters and louvres from sustainable timber for Australian conditions, here in Australia.