Holden will cease manufacturing its own cars come October 20, 2017, but its workforce remains relatively positive as the end of an era comes to a close.
For some workers, it’s a major shift in their lives, with some having spent nearly two decades at work for Holden. “Two decades is a long place anywhere,” Justin Ringewaldt, an employee of 18 years said.
“You think today, people wouldn’t work two decades in any workplace, so it’s been a great journey and now I just want to make the most of it.”
Holden has offered as much support as possible to its workforce to transition into new careers following the end of its manufacturing work. According to ABC, 82 percent of Holden’s 1,000 workers have lined up new opportunities and work. The Holden Transition Center was also established to help every single worker seek out new careers, hold job fairs, hone skills, work on resumés and even better interview skills.
It’s not all positive, though. There are still a couple hundred employees vigorously searching for work after October 20. However, many companies have begun to seek out Holden workers for their talent and experience. Across the street from Holden’s soon to be defunct Elizabeth manufacturing plant resides Levett Engineering, which most recently won contracts to make parts for Australia’s new F-35 Strike Fighter fast jets.
The South Australian government also plans to finalize $10 billion in land contracts to build a new manufacturing site to house military and defense manufacturing.