VACC: 7,523 auto jobs could be lost by November
An industry survey reveals how hard Australia’s essential automotive industry has been hit by COVID-19 and related restrictions, and provides a snapshot of the true level of support – or lack thereof – from current government support packages.
The Victorian Automotive Chamber of Commerce (VACC) surveyed its membership in order to compile an evidence-based response for Federal and State Governments, the predominant focus being business assistance package eligibility.
“The wide-ranging VACC survey makes for depressing reading. Many business owners are reporting financial stress but sometimes they don’t fit the cookie-cutter government templates for COVID business supports. This means many miss out on support that could see them surviving and employing local people,” said VACC CEO, Geoff Gwilym.
Key industry survey takeaways:
- Based on the modelling of the survey results 7,523 full-time equivalent staff are estimated to be lost from 1 July 2019 to 30 October 2021
- 67.1 percent of survey respondents had a greater than 40 percent revenue decrease since September 2020
- 64.64 percent of respondents did not qualify or did not apply for the Victorian Government Business Costs Assistant Program
- 81.39 percent of respondents did not qualify or did not apply for the Victorian State Government Small Business Hardship Fund
- 76.1 percent of respondents were not able to negotiate successfully for commercial tenancy relief with their landlord
- 27 percent of full-time employed staff are currently receiving COVID-19 disaster payments from the Federal Government, because they worked between eight to 20 hours less per week
- 23.2 percent of full-time employed staff are currently receiving COVID-19 disaster payments from the Federal Government, because they worked more than 20 hours less per week
- 80.43 percent of respondents are not utilising the Federal Government’s Boosting Apprenticeships Commencements scheme
- 92 percent of industry want to see a JobSaver or similar type payment introduced in Victoria.
VACC member responses include:
“This is killing us. I am only weeks off going out of business as a direct result of these lockdowns. As we have ‘only’ lost 60 percent of our turnover, not the magic 70 percent, I am getting no support.”
“My workshop has gone from 35 bookings a day to six bookings a day, which has caused most staff to be stood down over 20 hours a week.”
“VACC is communicating the survey results to both State and Federal governments in the pursuit of further support – whether through the easing of restrictions or consideration of fairer assistance measures,” said Mr Gwilym.