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by David Zalstein

Ford Australia has announced plans to accelerate new model launches, assist workers and suppliers with employment opportunities and hire around 1500 engineering and design staff, all in a bid to become the nation’s largest automotive employer by 2018.

Part of Ford’s transition away from local manufacturing, which will cease at its Broadmeadows and Geelong facilities in October 2016, the plan includes the 2015 arrivals of the new Focus, Mondeo, Mustang, and Everest (pictured below) and the launch of the refreshed Falcon and Territory later this year.

Outlining its future employment plan in a statement, Ford said it will hire about 20 marketing professionals this year, about 1500 “highly skilled” engineering and design employees by 2018 and has already began recruiting university graduates for jobs earmarked for 2015.

Ford says it also expects to be the only car maker with a complete product development enterprise by 2017.

Ford Everest Concept - 1

Ford is also making efforts to assist both manufacturing employees and suppliers impacted by the plant closures by providing separation packages – including voluntary separations where possible – career and financial planning resources, introducing suppliers to new global businesses, and contributing $10 million towards the Federal and Victorian Governments’ $49 million Geelong Region and Melbourne’s North Innovation and Investment Funds.

Ford says it has already helped 20 employees move into roles within the company not impacted by the manufacturing transition or new jobs outside the company and is currently working with the federally-funded Automotive Skills Australia training organisation to prepare further employees for new opportunities.

It also says to-date, its “match-making” strategy for suppliers has resulted in nine Australian companies securing business with Ford’s regional and global product operations.

15FordMustang_64_HR

Ford Australia president and CEO Bob Graziano said the company is “absolutely committed to serving our customers with world-class vehicles with advanced technologies and innovative features”.

“We plan to continue this momentum,” Graziano said.

Ford’s closure announcement in May 2013 was followed by Holden’s confirmation in December and Toyota’s in February that they too would cease local manufacturing by the end of 2017.

Read more on Ford’s 2017 showroom here.




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