New $2.5 million training centre for Oakdale

OAKDALE Industries, located in Warrane, has successfully secured a $2.5 million grant from the Australian Government to build a new training and production facility.

With funding provided under the Federal Government’s Tasmanian Jobs and Growth Package, the project will see the building of a new Employment Training Centre complete with a new workshop space, training room and office amenities.

The new workshop will house state of the art timber manufacturing equipment purchased with a previous $1.5 million grant, also secured from the Australian Government.

The combined $4 million two-stage upgrade will enable the company to increase its manufacturing capacity, replace ageing equipment with the latest technology and provide greater training opportunities to help upskill young Tasmanians with a disability.

When complete, Oakdale Industries will create an additional nine full time positions during the next two years – increasing their total workforce to 49.

Tasmanian Liberal Senator Eric Abetz, who turned the first sod of the development in late May, said the project would support the Federal and State Liberal Government’s job creation agenda, which was already “bearing fruit.”

“I am pleased that Oakdale Industries had already started installing and upgrading equipment, including two wood moulders and a mechanical handling system,” he said.

“The new training facility, which is now under construction, is an important investment which will not only create jobs, but also open up new opportunities for young Tasmanians.

“Since 2013, we’ve seen the unemployment rate fall from 8.1 per cent to 5.8 per cent and the delivery of this project is an important job creator for the city of Clarence.”

Oakdale Industries chief executive officer Drew Beswick said the company had a proud history of manufacturing timber products and providing training and employment to people with disability for more than 50-years.

“We look forward to another 50-years of Oakdale Industries providing much needed training and employment to Tasmanians with disability and supporting their path to independence,” he said.

Caption: Senator Eric Abetz, centre, joins Oakdale Industries divisional manager John Hollis, chief executive officer Drew Beswick, board chairman Julie Rimes and employees to turn the first sod as construction begins on the new centre.