NFPs Call for Taskforce to Lead Post-Holden Recovery
12 December 2013 at 10:51 am
Peak welfare bodies have called for a high powered, community sector-led taskforce to assist communities that will be most affected by the collapse of the automotive manufacturing industry in Australia.
South Australian welfare peak body, SACOSS, has called for the establishment of a high-level taskforce, including senior leaders in the community and social services sector, to lead regional recovery in the wake of the Holden decision.
As well SACOSS says there is need for the immediate establishment of a job creation investment fund to encourage innovative start-ups and other businesses in the areas most affected by Holden's closure to develop new employment opportunities.
Holden’s US headquarters announced on Wednesday that it would shut down its Australian automotive operations by 2017.
"Now more than ever, we need our Federal Government to demonstrate its support for the South Australian community by ending the doubt and making decisions now to invest in our future,” SACOSS Executive Director Ross Womersley said.
“The taskforce should be resourced and given responsibility for managing the job creation investment fund.
"We need both State and Federal governments to be discussing with the community sector about how we can support members of the local community who will be most severely impacted by Holden's decision.
"Our members are already seeing huge increases in requests for emergency relief support from welfare and charitable agencies and that this is likely to lead to persistent and extended levels of unemployment.
“The northern community of Adelaide has long been challenged by high levels of youth unemployment and issues of poverty, Holden's decision is only likely to exacerbate this.”
Now we have a clear idea about the immediate future of Holden we need a plan that ensures a successful transition to new industries and employment opportunities.
In Victoria, VCOSS says communities that are likely to be hardest hit by automotive and manufacturing industry job losses will need assistance to avoid being further disadvantaged as well as training and support to ensure workers can find new jobs.
“The announcement that Holden will cease manufacturing in Australia from 2017 will impact those Victorian communities where the automotive and allied industries are major employers,” Emma King, CEO of VCOSS, said.
“These communities will need support to manage these job losses and the flow-on impacts.
“It is particularly important that people can access appropriate retraining and reskilling to give them the best chance of finding new employment within their communities and to ensure workers and their families are not disadvantaged.
“Large-scale, industry-specific job losses can have significant long-term impacts in communities where those industries are major employers.
“VCOSS supports calls from SACOSS for the Federal Government to take the $500 million it would have given to Holden as industry assistance and divert it towards workers and communities to be able to transition to new industries and employment opportunities.”