Job's right: Over 400 Electrolux workers put hand up for new career training

JOB'S RIGHT: Seventy-seven per cent of the Electrolux workforce have undertaken training courses at TAFE in a bid to find new jobs when the factory closes.

JOB'S RIGHT: Seventy-seven per cent of the Electrolux workforce have undertaken training courses at TAFE in a bid to find new jobs when the factory closes.

AGED care and disability care courses, heavy vehicle licences and management certificates are the most popular training courses being taken up by Electrolux workers, who face unemployment before 2016. 

Of the 544 employees who will be made redundant when the plant closes, 420 employees, or 77 per cent, put their hands up for training courses, subsidised by the state government and Electrolux, offered through TAFE Western.

TAFE Western director Kate Baxter said most employees were gaining formal qualifications for the skills they learnt at the factory.

For example, employees who had been supervisors and managers for years would receive formal training in those areas so their skills could cross-over into other businesses. 

“TAFE Western’s been working very closely with Electrolux now and we’re at a point where we’re halfway through one-on-one interviews,” she said.

The interviews are designed to match courses with staff based on what their skills and areas of interest were. 

She said, initially, TAFE Western had about 300 staff ask for training and once the first round of training had begun, those employees had convinced another 120 to come on board with the program. 

She said there had been a lot interest in the health sector, civil construction and earthworks, and project management courses. 

Staff members who had years of experience in certain fields were interested in gaining teaching qualifications so they could pass on what they knew, she said. 

Plant manager Mark O’Kane said the harsh reality facing Electrolux workers was that there were few manufacturing jobs in the region and most employees would have to find work in other sectors.

nicole.kuter@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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