New $2.5 million training centre for Oakdale

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

Funding for the project has been provided under the Australian 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 $1.5 million grant previously 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 to upskill young Tasmanians with a disability.

“Oakdale Industries, operated by OAK Possability, is a leading employer of workers living with a disability, and this project will provide much needed training opportunities,” Minister for Regional Development Fiona Nash said.

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

Building works are now beginning on the new employment training centre with Senator Eric Abetz joining Oakdale for the launch.

“I am pleased that OAK has already started installing and upgrading equipment including two wood moulders and a mechanical handling system,” Senator Abetz 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.”

CEO Drew Beswick said Oakdale Industries has a proud history over 50 years of manufacturing timber products and providing training and employment to people with disability.

“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,” Mr Beswick said.

This project has been fully funded by the Federal Government with all components scheduled for completion in November 2017. The project has also been made possible with the support of Clarence City Council in expediting the approvals process and project partner, SolutionsWon Group.

Image: Senator Eric Abetz (center) joins Divisional Manager manager John Hollis, CEO Drew Beswick, Board Chairman Julie Rimes and Oakdale Industries employees to turn the first sod as construction begins on the new centre.