Manufacturing News

Leaving Holden early could assist workers’ re-employment: expert

An employment expert has said Holden workers that take voluntary redundancy might be better off than if they waited until the company ended manufacturing in 2017.

The ABC reports that Associate Professor John Spoehr, the Executive Director of Adelaide University's Workplace Innovation and Social Research Centre, said research supported the idea that those who took an earlier redundancy would probably see a better outcome.

"When the full brunt of the closure hits, you've got a large number of people coming onto the labour market and they are competing with one another, so if you leave earlier you are not competing with so many people," he told the ABC.

As reported in April by Manufacturers' Monthly and others, Holden will reduce the number of vehicles produced at its Elizabeth plant per day from 290 to 240 by the end of May, and will reduce its workforce by 270. If an insufficient number of workers took voluntary redundancies, then some would be approached for forced redundancies.

Elizabeth currently employs about 1,530.

The company announced in December 2013 will stop making cars altogether at the end of 2017 – recently re-committing to this deadline – and will sell imported cars after this.

Spoehr said that those who left the company with a readily-transferable trade would be best off, but the current weakness in the mining sector was a negative.

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