Members of the Engineering Employers Association South Australia (EEASA) will have access to more specialised support on legislative change and globalisation issues, after merging officially with the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) on 1st July 2009.
After 67 years representing engineering employers in its current form, EEASA has now attached itself to Australia’s premier representative body for manufacturing, Ai Group, to form Ai Group South Australia (SA) Branch, headed by former EEASA director, Stephen Myatt.
According to Myatt — the new Ai Group SA director — the merger came about after discussions about the EEASA’s capacity to represent its members in a rapidly changing financial climate.
With pressing issues on industry including the Government’s forthcoming Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, along with the skills shortage and pressure from overseas imports, EEASA decided to re-invent itself so that it could continue to support its members.
“Our members’ expectations are changing and they are requiring more advice about a broader range of topics. They are being challenged by globalisation, improving their competitiveness and productivity, and we wanted to make sure we could continue to help these companies in the future,” he said.
“We have had a long affiliation with the Ai Group, with a very good and open working relationship,” he said. “Ai Group has a huge range of services, and by being inside their tent we can bring some of those services to South Australia.”
EEASA has traditionally represented local South Australian companies in the metal and engineering manufacturing sector, including firms in automotive components, defence, whitegoods, foundries, sheet metal, and plastics.
With around 400 member companies, EEASA also has a long history in supplying advice on workers’ compensation, occupational health and safety, training and education, and also rallying the local government on issues close to the industry.
According to Myatt, the new Ai Group SA will also welcome into its stable various companies in the water and wastewater industry, and wider manufacturing industries like transport, warehouse and distribution, information communications and technology, labour hire, process control, instrumentation and automation.
It will be able to provide advice and services on energy contracts negotiation and audits, environmental and sustainability, and education and training, as well as its traditional services.
EEASA has merged its group training course, EEAGTS, with that of the of Ai Group to form AiGTS which will consist of almost 700 students, apprentices and mature-aged students looking at careers in the engineering, manufacturing and process industries.
Companies around Australia will now be able to contact the Ai Group for apprentice recommendations in fields like CAD/CAM, pneumatics, hydraulics and more.
Myatt said that one of the first issues on the new Ai Group SA agenda will be advising its members on how to deal with the CPRS legislation.
The new Group will also be focussing on making submissions to the Government’s tax review and working to make sure its members get a slice of the stimulus package. www.aigroup.asn.au