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Govt claims credit for ex-car industry workers finding jobs

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Nearly half of the workers laid off after the closure of Australian car manufacturing plants and in the jobs market are now working casual jobs.

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A government report reviewing the $380 million employment transition scheme for workers in the industry found 85 per cent remained in the jobs market, meaning they were either working or looking for work.

These figures included workers directly employed by the manufacturers and those involved in the automotive supply chain industry.

Nearly 20 per cent of those in the market were looking for work, according to a report released on Wednesday.

Around 82 per cent were working, with nearly half of them working casual jobs.

Just over half of those workers – or 53 per cent – were working full time, with the majority of retrenched workers still in manufacturing jobs, according to the report.

The transition scheme was introduced to help retrenched workers find jobs after the closure of the Ford, Toyota and Holden manufacturing plants in 2016 and 2017.

The scheme was supported by federal and state governments, as well as car manufacturers, with the report measuring outcomes three, six and 12 months after workers were made redundant.

In 2014, it was estimated about 27,500 workers would lose their jobs as a result of the closures, with 6,600 of those directly employed by manufacturers and the rest being workers in the automotive supply chain.

The report said the actual job loss figure was now estimated to be 14,000, due to fewer job losses in supply chain companies than expected.

It said about 70 per cent of the transitional training delivered under the scheme was for new licences or skill sets.

Of those working, the report said 85 per cent were satisfied with their current pay and a similar amount were feeling positive about their physical and mental health.

Employment Minister Michaelia Cash said it was thanks to the Coalition’s “decisive action” that four-in-five of retrenched workers were working again.

When the closures were announced in 2013 and 2014, the Coalition government had been criticised for refusing to further subsidise the industry.

-AAP

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