Automotive industry skills ‘world class’

High-end skills were what Peter Rowland wanted when he looked for recruits for his technology start-up, Micro-X — developing an ultra light-weight mobile X-ray machine.

And he said he saw those skills in the car industry.

“The car industry is really the world’s best practice in manufacturing,” Mr Rowland said.

“Just the logistics, the focus on quality and price and production logistics is second to none.”

Car industry DNA runs deeply through the fibre of Micro-X, their location is in the old Mitsubishi plant south of Adelaide.

And eight of its employees are former Holden workers, including Alex Blackman, the quality and supply chain manager.

Mr Blackman said Holden would often preach to them that the skills they gained there were world class and world benchmark.

“But it’s one of the things that you don’t really notice until you leave and you start working in other industries and you actually see that even advanced industries, like medical device manufacturing, are quite a long way behind the auto industry in terms of how mature they are with their quality processes,” he said.

Adam Williams, production manager at Micro-X and former Holden employee, said his advice to those still in the sector was to realise what skills they have and to make sure they market them properly.

“Make sure that they don’t underestimate what they’ve learnt from Holden and the auto industry, they are really really valued skills for other industries to bring into their organisation.”