Pollenizer is holding a free startup event for workers affected by the Ford shutdown

The Geelong Ford factory. Photo: Getty Images.

Pollenizer, an Australian startup incubator, is lending a helping hand to the workers affected by the Ford factory shutdown this Friday.

In May 2013, the carmaker announced that its factories in Geelong and Campbellfield would close down in October 2016, putting 1200 employees out of a job.

Recent figures from the Australian Catholic University show that up to 62% of Ford workers intend to look for a new job following the closure of the plant but only 1% currently aim to start their own business.

In response, Pollenizer is holding holding a startup science event to help the former Ford workers turn their ideas into businesses.

The program, named Next Monday, has attracted the support of Deakin University, Australia Post, and Geelong startup program, Runway.

“This is about bringing Australia’s most talented startup veterans together to tackle what will be an ongoing issue as Australia’s economy transitions and more jobs are displaced,” Pollenizer chief startup scientist Phil Morle said.

“The Australian economy is going through unprecedented change. Legacy industries are shifting and new ones are being created. In our work, we have learned that as fast as old businesses end, new ones emerge and that anybody can start them.”

Here’s the message Pollenizer has put out for workers who will be ending their career at Ford’s Broadmeadows plant in Geelong this Friday:

Screenshot: Pollenizer.

In August, the Andrews Labor government announced a $1.7 million funding boost for the Geelong startup ecosystem from the state’s $60 million startup initiative LaunchVic.

At the time, minister for small business, innovation and trade Philip Dalidakis said: “We want Victoria to be the location of choice for startups across the Asia Pacific Region and LaunchVic is making it happen.

“These projects will help young companies and ideas develop to create jobs and industries that will support Victoria for decades to come.”

The event will be held on Monday and Tuesday, October 17 – 18.

Workers can register their interest on Pollenizer’s website.

Screenshot: Pollenizer.

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