Automotive Workers in Transition Program

The Hon. A.L. McLACHLAN ( 14:42 :27 ): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking the Minister for Automotive Transformation a question.

Leave granted.

The Hon. A.L. McLACHLAN: On 28 March, in response to my question, the minister committed to finding out whether the worker tracking options paper for the Automotive Workers in Transition Program is finalised. Can the minister advise the chamber why the longitudinal tracking of such an important program is only now being considered, when the program was launched by the government back in December 2013? What drove this need to consider longitudinal tracking? In other words, what has changed?

The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Employment, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation, Minister for Automotive Transformation, Minister for Science and Information Economy) ( 14:43 :04 ): I thank the member for his questions. Certainly, the Automotive Workers in Transition Program had a slow take-up when it was initially launched. I have been to a number of the big, and also the small, supply chain companies.

Of the 74 tier 1 and tier 2 supply chain companies that we have identified, I have visited quite a number, and certainly, at least from a year ago and before, many workers in those companies had not really thought about the reality of what was going to happen when Holden, and also Toyota, who we are in the supply chain of in South Australia, stopped manufacturing. That is why we have continued to do work in terms of attracting people to this scheme to become involved. As we are now getting closer, and there is a date in late October when Holden will cease manufacturing, we have seen a significantly increased take-up of people involved in those schemes.

I think I answered your question earlier, that we will be looking at how we track the workers, how they have used the government services and what has happened to them afterwards. A longitudinal study, by its definition, is not something that you complete in a few months. Certainly, in the very early stages there was not a huge take-up, but it is now something that, as I think I have outlined before to honourable members in this chamber, we are looking at doing.

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