Home' Border Enterprise : Winter-Spring 2010 Contents 37
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other special event
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win an award
CASH TO EASE SKILLS
A $150,000 project has been unveiled by the
Victorian Government to help businesses tackle
a skills shortages across the North East.
Minister for Skills and
Bronwyn Pike announced
funding for the initiative in
Wangaratta last month.
Ms Pike said the project would focus on the
manufacturing, construction and aged-care
industries in Wodonga and Wangaratta.
"This go-ahead region is emerging from
the global economic downturn but there are
workforce issues, such as the attraction and
retention of skilled labour, that are restraining
growth," she said.
"To counteract this, the Victorian Government
has funded the North East Industry Workforce
Development Strategy to investigate and
address the labour supply and workforce
development needs across the region."
The project will include employers, industry
associations, local governments and
government agencies in the North East.
It will aim to promote career opportunities,
target people who have barriers to employment,
encourage flexible work practices and give
industry a greater say in training.
Burder Group general manager Adam Fendyk
said his factory struggled to attract and retain
welders, engineers and spray painters.
The workforce of 55 people accumulates an
average 200 to 300 hours overtime each week,
with the company in desperate need of at least
10 skilled workers.
Mr Fendyk said this had limited growth of the
company, which specialises in front end loaders.
"It impacts our growth, our ability to meet
our customers' needs on a timely basis and
certainly, while it's good for our guys here
because they get plenty of overtime, it's not ideal
that we can't actually fill those spots because
you can't run on overtime forever," he said.
In order to address the shortages, Mr Fendyk
said the Burder Group looked to train up
apprentices and attract skilled migrants.
He hoped the initiative announced by the
Government would establish a support network
for new workers to move and settle in the area.
l Adam Fendyk is excited about the
new funding for skills shortages.
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