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Toyota starts redundancy programs

Forward thinking: Toyota Australia executive director sales and marketing Tony Cramb said programs are underway to assist staff that are facing redundancies and relocation.

Counseling program kicks in for Toyota staff as the end of local production nears

8 Jan 2015

TOYOTA has begun a counseling and re-training program to assist employees in their search for new employment as the Japanese car-maker prepares to end manufacturing in Australia and consolidate its business in Melbourne.

The closure of the company’s Altona car production plant in 2017 will see the loss of 2600 blue- and white-collar jobs, while in Sydney 350 sales staff at the Caringbah head office will move to Melbourne or face redundancies.

A further 150 staff at the Eastern Region Office and 25 coordinating the dealer network from that Sydney site also face relocation.

Speaking at the 2014 Motor Industry Results announcement this week, Toyota Australia executive director sales and marketing Tony Cramb said programs were underway to help staff affected by the changes with the transition.

“We’ve already introduced what we call Drive Centres in Melbourne – there’s two of them,” he said.

“In the Drive Centre you can work out all the different roles that you could do as you move forward, start to think about the training that you could undertake.

“It’s a massive investment by Toyota. I think there are six counselors in the one that’s out at the Altona plant where individuals can come through and talk about their own particular circumstances, start their re-training program, think about what career they’re going to take after finishing up with Toyota.

So that’s all in place and happening.

“The same thing will happen in Sydney – a Drive Centre will be established in early February.

“Once again we will be working one by one with the families there that are affected to make sure those people have a clear path – if they’re going to come to Melbourne, if they’re going to make the transition, or if not how it is we can help them prepare for their life post-Toyota – given that there’s three years for that to happen.”

Toyota is gearing up to produce the final Australian-made Camry at its Altona plant, with Mr Cramb saying that considerable investment had gone into the heavily revised car to honour those who have worked on it.

“We’re going to invest the money and then pay tribute in so doing to those people who are worried about losing their jobs or about us not making it all the way to 2017,” he said.

“This is a show of strength for them, for the suppliers and for anybody that’s ever built a Toyota in Australia.”

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