static image

Sad day for auto in SA but manufacturing still going strong

"Tomorrow's final closure of the Holden production line in Elizabeth is a sad day for the auto assembly sector and its workers. Manufacturing, however, is still going strong and it is promising that many of the displaced workers have found new employment in a big part thanks to the efforts of Holden itself," Australian Industry Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox, said today.

"Ai Group has been encouraging members to consider hiring the many skilled people Holden has trained so well and given growing skill shortages in Australia many opportunities have opened up in recent months. The national unemployment rate fell to a four year low in September and so the labour market is hotting up for skilled workers.

"For auto itself there will still be up to 20,000 jobs in the supply chain nationally. These many businesses will continue to design and make parts and assemble trucks, buses and specialised vehicles. Another 30,000 people will continue to work in related sectors that design, make and repair our ships, boats, trains, trams and aircraft. Australian manufacturers are already successful exporters and there are strong signs this has the potential to be built upon.

"More broadly, manufacturing has been growing in Australia each month for much of the past two-years according to Ai Group’s Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index (Australian PMI®). Manufacturing also continues to be a major employer in Australia accounting for just under 900,000 people (August 2017), or 7.3% of the total workforce.

"Manufacturing has been particularly strong in the food, beverages and groceries subsector and the high rise and housing boom is creating big demand for building materials, furniture and furnishings. Steel manufacturing is also recovering well and the infrastructure and defence project pipelines are both big positives for the sector.

"For Holden, the brand will continue but it is sad nonetheless to see this final chapter close for Australian auto assembly," Mr Willox said.  

Media enquiries: Tony Melville – 0419 190 347