Toyota Shutdown to Impact Community Resources
11 February 2014 at 11:32 am
Governments will need to ensure that community organisations working with those affected by the Toyota shutdown are able to access appropriate resources to meet an expected increased level of need, according to peak welfare body VCOSS.
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 assist workers find new jobs, Victorian Council of Social Service CEO Emma King said.
In 2013, peak welfare bodies 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, 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 shut down its Australian automotive operations by 2017.
As well, SACOSS says a job creation investment fund needs to immediately be established to encourage innovative start-ups and other businesses in the areas most affected by Holden's closure to develop new employment opportunities.
“The news that Toyota will cease manufacturing in Australia from 2017 will be devastating to Victorian communities where the automotive and allied industries are major employers,” King said.
“The loss of 2500 jobs from the Toyota plant in Altona will have a significant immediate impact on communities in Melbourne’s west and there is the strong likelihood of further flow-on job losses across Victoria.
“The State and Federal Governments should put in place appropriate measures to assist people in these affected communities with job retraining and income support.
“Governments will also need to ensure the community organisations that people turn to for support are able to access appropriate resources to meet this increased level of need,” King said.
“Workers who are facing job losses will need appropriate retraining and reskilling to give them the best chance of finding new employment within their communities.
“Such large-scale, industry-specific job losses can have significant long-term impacts in communities where those industries are major employers.
“Communities hit by industry-wide job losses will need immediate support and long-term assistance, without which they are likely to experience significant financial crisis, increased demand for emergency relief support, increased incidents of family breakdown and family violence and much greater demand for community services that are already struggling to meet growing need.
“Without appropriate supports we run the risk of creating communities where high unemployment, poor retraining options and overall job scarcity lead to entrenched disadvantage and disengagement.
“A strong economic future for Victoria will require the right investment and the right thinking to get us there and the State and Federal Governments must act now to get us there,” King said.