Bill's Media Releases

Joint Media Release (Shorten & Combet): Support for automotive workers extended

The Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Bill Shorten, and the Minister for Industry and Innovation, Greg Combet, today announced a $15.6 million extension to the Labour Market Adjustment element of the Automotive Industry Structural Adjustment Program to provide training and employment services for workers leaving the sector.

This extension will mean that workers who lose their jobs in coming years due to restructuring in the automotive manufacturing sector – which is under pressure due to the high value of the Australian dollar – will be properly assisted in finding new work.

“The Gillard Labor Government is firmly committed to supporting car manufacturing in Australia,” Mr Shorten said.

“Global pressures and the strong dollar are having a significant impact on local auto manufacturing, and the Government will continue with reforms that build a stronger, sustainable economy.

“One of the best ways to ensure a strong economy into the future is to invest in our workers and their skills.”

The extension of this program complements other key automotive announcements made today by the Gillard Government – support for GM Holden to produce two next generation vehicles in Australia and the $35 million Automotive New Markets Initiative to help companies in the automotive supply chain diversify their product base and find new markets.

As part of a strategic co-investment agreement worth in excess of $1 billion, GM Holden has committed to develop a program to match existing skills and capabilities of workers to opportunities in other sectors of the economy and to identify training needs of workers.

“This package will secure GM Holden’s manufacturing future in Australia, strengthen the supply base, and provide safeguards for workers who may be displaced as the industry restructures,” Mr Combet said.

Extending the Automotive Industry Structural Adjustment Program’s Labour Market Adjustment support will help these workers find new employment.

“Displaced workers from eligible automotive manufacturers will be provided with immediate access to intensive employment and training assistance through until June 2017,” Mr Shorten said.

The assistance is delivered through Job Services Australia (JSA) and eligible workers will be able to work with a JSA provider to develop a tailored Employment Pathway Plan.

JSA providers also have access to an Employment Pathway Fund to help eligible automotive workers purchase assistance and services to help them find new employment.

For example, this fund can be used to purchase assistance such as:

-        training courses;

-        short term travel costs;

-        relocation costs to commence in employment;

-        work clothing, uniforms and safety equipment;

-        wage subsidies and work trials;

-        essential work tools, tickets and licences;

-        dental and optical services;

-        support, mentoring services, counselling or rehabilitation services.

For more information about the employment support available for automotive workers, go to: www.deewr.gov.au/Employment/JSA/Resources/Documents/AutomotiveManufacturing.pdf