Holden reintroduces afternoon shift at Elizabeth plant

Holden today reintroduced the afternoon shift at its South Australian vehicle manufacturing plant in Elizabeth after operating for more than 18 months on a single shift.
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Holden has hired 100 new employees in November for the restored afternoon shift, while a further 65 positions will be created before the end of 2010.

The move comes after the November 1 changes, which saw the remaining areas of business operating under the shared two-crew one-shift arrangement returned to full-time employment.

The afternoon shift was initially suspended on May 1, 2009, following a GFC-related downturn in demand.

Holden director of vehicle operations, Richard Phillips, said the return of the second shift was a step forward for Holden and the Australian manufacturing industry as a whole.

“Our new employees joined their new teams over the last fortnight for training in readiness for the second shift starting today and Cruze start of production next year,” Mr Phillips said.“These new programs and increased production give everyone at Holden a renewed sense of confidence and they also create new opportunities for the local community and supplier network in Adelaide’s northern suburbs.”

Mr Phillips said he expected Holden’s vehicle operations recruitment office to remain busy into 2011.

“We are optimistic we will grow production next year with Commodore, Cruze and export orders for the new Chevrolet police car models,” he said.“With this additional demand forecast in 2011 we also expect to recruit an additional intake of employees in the first half of next year.”

South Australia’s Minister for the Northern Suburbs, Michael O’Brien, said the increase in employment was a positive result after the State and Federal Governments’ combined investment of $179 million in Holden.

In related news, Holden and the South Australian Government today announced a skills development program to assist the long-term unemployed in Adelaide’s north.

The eight-week TAFE-based program will begin in January 2011 and include training in equipment operation, occupational health and safety, interview skills and literacy and numeracy, and will be followed by a period of work placement at Holden.

Elizabeth TAFE is currently seeking expressions of interest from people interested in applying for the program.