The Australian Forest Products Association – South Australian Branch (AFPA-SA), in a joint collaboration with Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast (RDALC) and local councils, has organised a Green Triangle regional jobs expo at the Holden Transitions Centre in Adelaide tomorrow.
The expo will present career and relocation opportunities for skilled automotive workers facing redundancy due to Holden ceasing its local manufacturing operations.
Clare Scriven, State Manager of AFPA-SA, said the expo is a strategic effort to attract skilled workers from the automotive sector and tackle skills gaps in forest industries, in particular.
“Timber harvesting in the Green Triangle region has doubled over the past few years, resulting in acute skills shortages in harvesting and haulage operations,” Ms Scriven said. “The expansion then fuels demand along the entire value chain, from mechanical maintenance to engineering and information technology jobs.
“Attracting experienced automotive workers who can also access re-training funds to further upskill is a good opportunity for the industry as well as the region.
Ms Scriven said that forest industries data indicates a need for up to 200 more skilled staff by the end of 2017.
“This creates opportunities for a secure future for automotive workers seeking a tree-change, sea-change or regional city living,” Ms Scriven said. “All of these options are available in the Green Triangle region.”
Jobseekers will be able to meet with forest industry employers, try a harvester simulator and get more information about the skills being sought and the positions available. RDALC, the City of Mt Gambier (SA) and Glenelg Shire (Victoria) will also present lifestyle information about the region, highlighting the benefits of affordable housing, short commutes, and excellent schools and sporting facilities.
The Expo follows AFPA-SA’s successful forum last month in Mt Gambier that brought together local forest industry employers with representatives from Holden and the State Government’s Automotive Transitions Team.
Presentations will be at 3pm and 5pm, Wednesday 28 September, 2016, at the Holden Transitions Centre, 180 Philip Highway, Elizabeth.
Forest industries employ almost 7,000 people directly in South Australia, with a further 14,000 indirect jobs.
The Green Triangle encompasses the regional city of Mt Gambier (pop. 26,000; SA’s largest city outside of Adelaide) as well as the towns of Millicent, Penola and Naracoorte in South Australia, and Portland, Hamilton and Heywood in Victoria.
The Green Triangle provides approx. 20% of Australia’s softwood plantations as well as significant hardwood plantations.
Identified roles needed in the Green Triangle include: MC Drivers – HC Drivers – Harvester Operators – Excavator Operators – Mechanical Maintenance – Auto Electricians – Heavy Vehicle Mechanics – HV Tyre Fitters – Welders/Fabricators – Safety Manager – Other Managers – IT.