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EXCLUSIVE: Packaging professionals in the ANZ region are well qualified and largely secure in their jobs, according to key findings in the AIP 2021 Salary Survey report released this week.

The Australian Institute of Packaging (AIP) 2021 Salary Survey was developed in partnership with the Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP) and conducted for the first time this year in the Australasian region. The survey report provides a detailed breakdown of the people employed in the packaging industry, including their roles, education, experience, career satisfaction, concerns, and salaries.

Commenting on the key findings, AIP executive director Nerida Kelton told PKN that what stood out was how well qualified packaging professionals are in the Australasian region.

Citing report results, she said, “Of the total respondents, 46% have a postgraduate degree, 34.20% have more than 20 years’ experience in the industry and, even during a pandemic, 41.30 % were very secure in their job and 27.50% were  ‘somewhat secure’.”

However, there remains a skills gap in packaging technology, as AIP education director Professor Pierre Pienaar pointed out: “Even though the data indicates that we have well qualified professionals in the industry we still have a limited number who are qualified in the science, engineering or technology of packaging.”

Pienaar said the region needs to see more people working in the packaging industry undertaking degrees such as the Diploma in Packaging Technology, the Certificate in Packaging, the Fundamentals in Packaging Technology and the Master of Food & Packaging Innovation.

“Having a degree in the science of packaging and understanding the fundamentals of packaging will go a long way in improving the overall knowledge and skill sets available to ensure that we do not have a technical knowledge void within the industry in the next five to ten years,” Pienaar said.

“Not only do we need to encourage more people in the industry to advance their technical skills in packaging, but we also need to see professionals that have attained a packaging-related degree to be recognised and hired for their expertise,” he added.

“The AIP would love to see more HR departments and job placement companies actively recognising packaging degrees and the Certified Packaging Professional (CPP) designation in their position descriptions when hiring packaging technologists and designers, as this technical knowledge is invaluable.”

KEY FINDINGS:

Experience

• 34.20% of the total respondents have more than 20 years’ experience in the packaging industry. This is an indication of longevity in the industry and stable careers.
• There is an increasing number of people in the industry that have up to 10 years’ experience which shows that there is a continued opportunity for newcomers to the industry to establish strong careers.

Education 

• 46% of the total respondents have extremely high educational qualifications including postgraduate degrees.
• 21% of the total respondents have an undergraduate degree.

Job Function

• 25.20% of the total respondents indicated that they work in packaging technology/design.
• This was followed closely by marketing/sales at 24.40%

Industry/Products
• 47% of the total respondents work in the food industry followed by 13% in the beverage industry.
• 11% indicated that they work in packaging materials

Career Satisfaction
‘What is the one thing that keeps you awake at night regarding job security?’
• The impact of COVID-19 on my job
• Lockdowns and current working conditions
• Redundancy/job and business insecurity
• My company not moving towards the 2025 National Packaging Targets
• Plastics ban
• Negativity around packaging and plastics
• Lack of career progression
• High expectations and tight deadlines

Job Security
• 41.30% of the total respondents are very secure in their job, while 27.50% are ‘somewhat secure’.

IoPP executive director Jane Chase said the institute was “thrilled to have the AIP join forces to conduct the first ever global Salary Survey”.

“Using IoPP’s tried and true survey format, we were able to combine efforts to collect data for the first time in an additional region. The data provided was collated and analysed by AIP and is being provided for the first time to shed light on not only the salaries of packaging professionals, but also the trends in the packaging industry in Australasia. The IoPP looks forward to working with AIP for years to come to expand this salary survey to become a very strong report for the Australasian region and the global packaging community,” Chase said.

The full 2021 AIP Salary Survey report, including findings on salaries, is available to AIP members and survey respondents.

The next AIP Salary Survey will be made available to complete in early 2022.

 

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