A lift for lolly manufacturing

Published: 24 May 2017

Ex auto worker now working at Pryde manufacturing
Michael Jolley, a former automotive worker, working at Pryde Confectionary.

Former automotive workers will help to manufacture lollies in Melbourne's north thanks to Victorian Government funding.

Prydes Confectionery in Broadmeadows has received a Local Industry Fund for Transition (LIFT) grant to help the company take on new 50 workers, including 11 positions identified as former automotive workers.

The company will begin a $4 million expansion to improve production and increase its domestic and export turnover.

The investment also safeguards Prydes Confectionery's existing employee base.

Established in the 1930s, Prydes manufactures more than 60 million packets of confectionery a year and its product range includes aniseed stars, black jelly beans, hard jubes and retro and boiled sweets.

Victoria accounts for almost half of Australia's confectionery exports, producing $145 million worth of goods every year.

LIFT funding is also being provided to two other companies – Parthenon Marble in Melbourne's north and Composite Materials Engineering in Melbourne's south-east  – to invest in their operations and create an additional 45 new roles, all suitable for former automotive workers.

The LIFT program is helping businesses expand their operations and create new jobs in communities hardest hit by the closure of automotive manufacturing.

To date, LIFT has supported 32 projects from Victorian based manufacturers that are expected to create 781 new jobs, including 633 suitable for former automotive workers. More information about LIFT and expressions of interest is on the Business Victoria website.

In the video below, learn how former automotive workers will help manufacture some of Australia's most iconic confectionery at Prydes Confectionery with the assistance of the LIFT program.

Video Transcript

How Sweet It Is: More Jobs for Ex-Auto Workers

[Vision:  Confectionery being packed]

Wade Noonan - Minister for industry and Employment

Prydes Confectionery is one of our leading confectionery companies here in Australia.  Prydes are a recipient of one of our Lift Grants, and they will grow their business.

[Vision:  Confectionery]

Daniel Sanchez - Managing Director, Prydes Confectionery

Prydes is delighted to participate in the Lift Program.  The program means that Prydes can continue to invest in automation and innovation and future growth.

[Vision:  Confectionery being packed - forklift]

The program and the grant will allow Prydes to create another 50 jobs over the next two years, and participate in creating jobs with displaced workers out of the automotive industry.

[Vision:  Wade Noonan talking with staff]

Michael had a long history with Ford.

[Wade Noonan speaking]

At the end of his employment found an opportunity here at Prydes relatively quickly.

[Vision:  Workers fixing machinery]

And I think his only challenge is to settle in to a new workforce and of course adapt his skills to a new workplace.

Michael Jolley - Maintenance Fitter, Prydes Confectionery

I worked at Fords for 28 years.  We didn't know where we'd go.  We didn't know whether we'd move or chase work somewhere else or stay.

[Vision:  Michael working]

I've got kids still at school.  I had one at university.  Maintenance Fitter, it's basically line breakdowns, repairing machinery, it's basically almost exactly the same to make sure production lines are running properly.

[Michael Jolley speaking]

It's been really good.  Yeah. 

[Vision:  Workers - machinery]

They're good blokes to work with and yeah, having a good time.  This is exactly the purpose of the investments that the Victorian Government has been making to assist the communities hardest hit, and the workers hardest hit, by the transition of the automotive sector.

[Vision:  Wade Noonan speaking with staff - confectionery being packed]

Already our investments through our Lift Program across more than 30 businesses, have created somewhere in the order of about 800 new jobs, with the majority of those jobs suited to ex-auto workers.

[Vision:  Packaging labels - staff working - packed confectionery being loaded]

And, I'm really pleased that Prydes Confectionery have been leading the way in relation to picking up an ex-auto worker, and have expansion plans to create 50 new jobs which will create even more opportunities for the region.

[Victoria State Government]

[Speaker:  Authorised by Victorian Government, 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne]