Home > $1 m grant could help Caravan company hire ex-auto workers

$1 m grant could help Caravan company hire ex-auto workers

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New Age Caravans has been successful in its bid for a grant under the Melbourne North Innovation and Investment Fund.

According to a joint federal and state announcement last Friday, over 65 jobs will be created with the assistance of the $1 million grant, the first such grant under the MNIIF.

The fund is a tripartite federal, Victorian and Ford Australia program, and the grant to New Age Caravans is “the first of many projects” to receive funding under it.

The co-investment will help New Age create an an advanced robotics centre, budgeted at $3.7 million, under its expansion plan.

"This project is a great example of an innovative company in a growing market that is driving real improvements in productivity for the business," said federal industry minister Ian Macfarlane, adding that the expansion would benefit former automotive workers, who would only require minimal re-training to work at the caravan company.

"Melbourne’s north is a hub of engineering, aerospace and defence, electronics and print packaging industries, which are thriving in a global market,” said David Hodgett, Victoria’s manufacturing minister, of the region's strengths.

Like the Geelong Region Innovation and Investment Fund, which recently awarded a $5 million grant to Carbon Revolution in Geelong, the MNIIF is merit-based and competitive, a tripartite Ford/Commonwealth/state initiative, and set up in response to Ford’s announcement that it would cease manufacturing in Australia in 2016. Both grants programs are funded to $24.5 million.

Round one applications closed on September 26 last year. The fund defines Melbourne North as the Local Government Areas of Hume, Whittlesea, Moreland and Darebin.

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