Former Holden workers who took early redundancy packages and started looking for new jobs are warning those yet to leave the carmaker to prepare for the possible shock of hard times ahead.
It is almost nine months since 400 workers left the Elizabeth manufacturing plant in northern Adelaide, many of them confident an early exit would give them an advantage in finding new work.
The ABC has followed the fortunes of several ex-car workers and they are yet to find permanent, full-time work.
Jeff Pinney left Holden after more than 35 years.
“When Holden do finally close we need a stronger support system because a lot of people are going to be shocked,” he warned.
The workers who left in July 2013 were offered job seeking support by Choice Career Services and just over half took up that offer.
Damian Menzies of the agency warns the workers are unlikely to find jobs that are the equivalent in wages and security to those they held at Holden.
“Some people will be lucky enough to find something better but the majority of people will need to adjust their expectations,” he said.
Andrew Kypreos, 43, has aggressively pursued a new job and is working four hours per day, six days per week cleaning aircraft cabins at Adelaide Airport.
He thinks his ability to work quickly and efficiently on the car assembly line prepared him for the new job he now has.
“I like where I am but getting a full-time job is a bonus,” he said.
“There’s not a lot out there, it’s more casual and permanent part-time.”
Holden announced late last year it would end Australian manufacturing by 2017.
SA Treasurer wants more federal support
Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis will meet federal Industry Minister Ian McFarlane next week to urge the Federal Government to increase its $60 million support package for Holden workers.
Mr Koutsantonis also is keen for a meeting with federal Treasurer Joe Hockey.
The new SA Treasurer says Canberra needs to pledge more financial support for South Australia before Holden ends its local manufacturing.
“Ian McFarlane needs to understand and realise that the impacts, that the decisions they’re making in the Cabinet room in Canberra are having a real impact in South Australia,” he said.
“They need to acknowledge that. Second, they need to acknowledge their rescue packages have to be larger.”