So Holden has announced it will not continue manufacturing cars in Australia after 2017. It’s a decision that has naturally been met with emotion from many quarters and has resulted in criticism levelled at the Government – mainly from a shrieking opposition.
But times change and change happens. In response, individuals, businesses and Governments need to adapt to the changing times.
Writing in The Sydney Morning Herald today, Economics editor Ross Gittins said:
“If we want the economy to return to a healthier rate of growth, with rising job opportunities, the answer is for our businesses to find new and better ways to make profits, not for them to become ever more reliant on government subsidies.
It is for us to face up to, and adapt to, a rapidly changing world economy, not use taxpayers’ money to try to prevent change, eventually turning our economy into an industrial museum.”
And of course Gittins is right.
It has been apparent for a very long time that Australia had ceased to be an efficient place to manufacture cars compared to other parts of the world. Once that truth was laid bare then, given the globally competitive nature of the world we live in now, any argument in favour of continuing to manufacture simply could not be sustained.
So Holden, like Ford, Toyota and Mitsubishi before them will depart manufacturing on these shores.
As has happened throughout history, changing times means businesses come and go. When Holden leaves the gap in the economy will quickly be filled with new enterprises.
Commiserate for a while, sure, but then seek what we can learn from this.
One important learning for anyone leaving school and starting out on the economic earning stage of their lives is this: Do not make the mistake of expecting times to stay the same. Times change, people change, businesses change and you need to change. We are well-past the time when you can expect to be employed in a job for life. Changing times and changed labour markets mean we are now living in a time when students can expect to be freelancers at some point in their careers. What this means is they will need skills in cooperation and collaboration, innovation and creativity, enterprise and entrepreneurship if they are to survive – and thrive in the 21st Century.