In need of $60,000, but it will be money well spent

THE Fraser Coast engineering and manufacturing industries fear another setback with an organisation acting in the interests of 50 Wide Bay businesses in danger of folding.

Australian Industry Engineering and Manufacturing Network (AIEMnet) is a group based at Maryborough's Wide Bay Institute of TAFE with 50 members that include Downer EDI, CQMS Razor, MRAEL Group and GS Engineering.

It lobbies for the interests of its members, helps companies to work together to ensure money is spent locally, and creates job pathways for the next crop of employees.

AIEMnet chairman Kerren Smith confirmed the group had asked the three Wide Bay councils and the State Government to fund a $60,000 rescue package.

Mr Smith said the group's plight was reflective of the battle the engineering and manufacturing sectors faced, and said money and jobs could be lost from the region if the network folded.

"It's organisations like this that are grossly needed in times like this; in the buoyant times they're not as needed by the members as much as they are now," Mr Smith said.

"If you're based in manufacturing or fabrication and if you look at the State Government policies currently the 'four pillars' (policy) does not mention the manufacturer or manufacturing anywhere."

Mr Smith said his company was a perfect example of the difference the organisation made.

"You look at my business; we probably put on a monthly basis $50,000-70,000 into the Maryborough economy when we used to send it to Brisbane," the head of Gympie-based J Smith and Sons said.

He said AIEMnet also ran Talent - a vocational training program for high school students - to produce the next generation of engineering and manufacturing employees.

The Fraser Coast Regional Council voted last week to prepare a report to consider a contribution of $10,000 to the AIEMnet group.

Programs

  • Indigenous training and employment
  • Vocational education


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