The Gillard Labor Government has announced it will invest an additional $15.1 million to assist Ford employees as they transition to new employment after the company’s recent announcement that it will close both Geelong and Broadmeadows plants by October 2016.
“This support is in addition to the Commonwealth’s commitment of $30 million for economic development and diversification in the local Geelong and North West Melbourne communities and $10 million for the Automotive New Markets Program,” statement.
The statement, from the Gillard Labor Government, revealed the $15.1 million is also in addition to the existing $51.9 million Automotive Industry Structural Adjustment Program (AISAP) which provides automatic access to Ford employees to Stream 3 job services support.
According to the PM, $5 million will be set aside immediately from the National Workforce Development Fund for Auto Skills Australia, an Industry Skills Council, to coordinate labour adjustment activities, and to provide career guidance services and training to supplement employment support services. The fund is also said to support communities to identify how they will respond to this significant adjustment in the local economy. Also in the funding, a further $5 million from future years’ NWDF allocations will be set aside for the future skills needs of the automotive sector.
“For the first time, the Gillard Government has established Geelong as a Priority Employment Area. This will bring the total number of Priority Employment Areas across the Nation to 21,”statement.
A Local Employment Coordinator will be appointed to the Geelong region Priority Employment Area, providing access to $200,000 in a Flexible Funding Pool to assist workers transition into new work as a result of the closure.
Additionally, an Australian Jobs and Skills Expo will be held prior to 30 June 2014 in the new Priority Employment Area of Geelong.
Broadmeadows is set to be already covered by the North Western Melbourne Priority Employment Area.
“The Gillard Government will also provide $470,000 in assistance to the Federation of Automotive Parts Manufacturers (FAPM) to support downstream businesses affected by Ford’s decision.”
“Labor’s $51.9 million Automotive Industry Structural Adjustment Program (AISAP) not only provides workers with immediate access to intensive Stream 3 employment support but tailored, one-on-one intensive support and additional funding of $2,880 per person in an Employment Pathway Fund.”
The $5.1 million Ford package announced over the weekend is supported by the AMWU and Ford.
The Gillard Labour Government has urged, any workers affected by Ford’s decision who would like to know more about any of these services can call the dedicated Ford workers’ hotline: 1800 269 564.