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'Earn and learn' initiative to address workforce shortages

Government steps in to help caravan
factories meet the booming demand

Crusader caravans

Crusader caravans under construction

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THE Victorian Government has waded in with help for the state's caravan industry as it meets a huge demand for locally-built RVs.

Economic development agency NORTH Link and Caravan Industry Victoria are providing specialist on-the-job training at caravan manufacturers in Melbourne's north, including at Crusader Caravans in Epping.

Under the 'earn and learn' initiative, 150 workers will receive support and skill development in areas including assembly, service and repairs, warehousing and logistics, administration and sales to kick-start their new careers ... while earning an income.

The jobs will go to priority groups that have been hardest hit by the COVID pandemic including from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD), long-term unemployed and young people under 25 years.

Ten manufacturers have been engaged and the boosted workforce is helping the sector address workforce shortages.

Crusader Caravans will take on two new staff members as part of the program as it works to meet a soaring demand from long-time caravanners and recent converts to mobile holidays.

Melbourne’s north is the heartland of the nation's caravan manufacturing industry.

Some 20,000 caravans – 90 percent of the Australian total – roll off the production line of a Victorian factory each year.

The sector is worth $2.3 billion to the Victorian economy annually, with about 7500 caravan industry workers drawing $600 million in wages every year.

The caravan initiative is supported by the Government's $250 million Jobs Victoria Fund, which is creating 10,000 steady and secure jobs for workers most impacted by the pandemic.

Minister for Employment Jaala Pulford described the caravan industry as "booming".

"This provides a great opportunity for Victorians to build a career in an industry that is really going places," he said.

"Being able to earn a wage while learning new skills and building knowledge on the job is a winning combination."

Caravan Industry Victoria chief executive Rob Lucas said people were travelling again and want more of the industry's products.

"This program comes at a time when our employer members need it the most," he said.

NORTH Link executive director Chris James thought it was a "win-win" program.

"It will supply workers to a growing industry and also help people find a job, while giving them the support they need to adjust to a new career," he said.

For information about the Jobs Victoria Fund and how businesses and individuals can apply go to


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the prior written permission of Dennis Amor.

Copyright 2005 Dennis Amor
All Rights Reserved

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