NORTH Link is pleased to announce our new Growth Sector Jobs: Caravans project. Funded by the Victorian Government and offered in partnership with Caravan Industry Victoria, the project will assist the fast-growing caravan manufacturing and service industry to fill permanent vacancies while providing 150 local jobseekers with genuine employment opportunities.
The unemployment impacts of COVID-19 have hit Melbourne’s north much harder than the rest of Melbourne and Victoria. At the same time, demand for caravans has ballooned because of the region’s ageing demographic and the fact that travellers are unable to holiday overseas.
“It’s all about jobs,” says NORTH Link Executive Director Chris James and Caravan Industry Association CEO Rob Lucas. “The caravan sector needs more workers to handle unprecedented demand for product. At the same time, there are many people living in Melbourne’s north who have lost their connection to work due to the COVID-19 epidemic and need employment.”
“Through the Real Jobs, Right Now project we will help fill existing industry vacancies and jobseekers will be offered genuine career opportunities in a fast-growing industry.”
Research conducted by Caravan Industry Victoria in late 2020 identified a high number of vacancies across a range of positions. While most vacancies are for caravan assemblers, there are also roles available for service technicians, warehouse and stores, sales and administration.
“Our target is to train 150 employees over 20 months. Participants are paid while they learn, and training includes a placement onsite to ensure that they have an awareness of the industry and are ready for work,” said Michael Iaccarino, General Manager of Employment Programs at NORTH Link.
Ten manufacturers have been engaged so far and the boosted workforce is helping the sector address its significant workforce shortages.
Melbourne’s north is the heartland of the nation’s caravan manufacturing industry. Some 20,000 caravans – 90 per cent of the Australian total – roll out the door of a Victorian factory each year.
The sector is worth $2.3 billion to the Victorian economy annually, with about 7,500 caravan industry workers drawing $600 million in wages every year.
During the project, jobseekers will receive training specific to the caravan industry. It will involve the skills and knowledge they need to be employed a variety of roles, primarily at an entry level.
The process for each intake will be:
- two weeks of pre-employment training
- one week of paid pre-vocational training comprising three units from the Certificate III in Recreational Vehicle Manufacture, including workplace safety
- two weeks of paid work placement (three days per week) at an employer who is seeking to hire
- at the end of the placement, the employer has the option to employ the jobseeker.
To give employers and participants every chance of success, support and mentoring are provided during and after the program.
The jobs will go to those who have been hardest hit by the pandemic including from CALD backgrounds, asylum seekers and refugees, long-term unemployed, veterans, aged over 45 years, young people under 25 years and others facing particular barriers that puts them at risk of being out of work for six months or longer.
Chris James explained the benefits of the project to industry and the community.
“This project is a win-win – it will supply workers to a growing industry and also help people find a job, while giving them the support they need to adjust to a new career.”
Watch the launch here: https://youtu.be/HfQ3sbEh8w0
Read Minister for Employment Jaala Pulford’s announcement.
To find out more, contact Sue Logan on firstname.lastname@example.org