As the industry undergoes significant restructuring and faces competition from overseas imports, the Victorian Government has launched a program to assist businesses identify new opportunities and adjust during the transition period as major car manufacturing ceases to operate in Victoria. The Automotive Supply Chain Transition Program (ASCTP) will provide assistance for eligible supply chain companies to implement programs for transition. Funding will provide support to equip companies and their employees with options and strategies for the transition. With the majority of domestic manufacturing in the motor vehicle industry to cease by 2017, all projects under the ASCTP must be completed by June 2018.

The ASCTP is part of a larger $46.5 million package in response to announced closures by Ford, Holden, and Toyota. The $5 million ASCTP program will help Victorian workers, employers, and supply chain workers, as well as affected communities and businesses. Businesses in the automotive industry that meet the eligibility requirements will receive support and assistance valued up to $65,000 to transition into new markets.

Communities hit hardest by automotive companies departing the region will receive support to attract new investment and create new opportunities for local workers. A separate Local Industry Fund for Transition, worth $33 million, will be used to assist communities in Melbourne’s North, West and South-East, as well as the Geelong region. Also, $8.4 million has been allocated for training and job search support for Victorian residents residing in the southeast.

Eligibility

Applications for the Automotive Supply Chain Transition Program are open to automotive supply chain companies based in Victoria, who derive at least 20% of revenue from supplying new car manufacturing from three local car manufacturers. You must also have been training continuously since May 2013.

A number of assistance plans are available, including the Business Transition Plan, Merger Advisory Services and Business Transition Services. The financial support for each supply chain company will be limited at $65,000 if the company is eligible to receive funding.

The Victorian Government is also opening up applications for business analysts and specialists in the motor vehicle industry to become a ASCTP Business Specialist. To meet the eligibility requirements, applicants must demonstrate experience in planning and analysis of businesses in the Victorian supply chain and the automotive industry. Applicants must also be registered for GST, hold an ABN and be financially viable.

Key Takeaways

The Automotive Supply Chain Transition Program will be pivotal in assisting automotive businesses diversify into new industries and find new employment for automotive workers. The Program will also assist businesses looking to expand into global markets. If you are a Victorian automotive company in supply chain and looking to apply for assistance under the Program, contact Business Victoria. If you are a worker in transition or retrenched from the industry, you should explore the programs established to assist you in retraining or upskilling in other industries.

Anthony Lieu

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