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Ford to help redundant workers, component suppliers

Editorial
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Ford says that, following its decision to cease manufacturing in Australia by 2016, it will help component suppliers get overseas work and plans to be Australia’s biggest auto employer by 2018.

AAP reports that the company says it has already helped nine Victorian auto suppliers find work in Ford’s global operations and will continue to help others.

In addition, Ford will provide redundant workers with separation packages and will help some of them move to other jobs within the company.

"Helping employees transition to the next phases of their careers and lives is a critical priority for Ford," Ford Australia boss Bob Graziano said.

The plan to become the country’s largest employer by 2018 would involve around 1500 employees in areas such as engineering, design and marketing.

Still, Ford’s decision to cease its Australian manufacturing operations by 2016 will affect more than just Ford workers. That decision, combined with the subsequent news that Holden and Toyota will also stop local manufacturing operations, will affect thousands of workers in car component companies.

It is unclear how many such component makers will be able to secure work in Ford’s global operations.

Nevertheless, as The Herald Sun reports, MHG Asia-Pacific is one such company. A Victorian-based manufacturer which produces glass and plastics for use in cars, will begin exporting to Ford in Thailand later this year. The components will be used in a yet-to-be-announced Ford passenger car.

Ford’s actions have won the support of the Victorian Government.

"Despite its recent announcement to close its production operations by 2016, Ford still expects to be Australia's largest automotive employer which is great news for the Victorian economy," Victorian Manufacturing Minister David Hodgett told AAP .

"Importantly, Ford is also introducing local suppliers to new business opportunities within the company's global operations."

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