Barker hits the 10K trailer mark
THE 10,000th trailer has rolled off the production line in a major milestone for Victorian manufacturer Barker Trailers.
Based in Woodend, the major economic fixture of the regional area has provided employment to hundreds for more than 40 years.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, Minister for Industry and Employment Ben Carroll and Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas visited the company's Woodend factory to celebrate the milestone with a ribbon-cutting event.
"We're proud to stand behind companies like Barker Trailers, who are creating jobs for Victorians,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.
"With our support, we're ensuring Victoria remains the home of advanced, modern manufacturing in Australia.”
Barker has been manufacturing since 1974 in the Loddon Mallee region.
It has production sites in Woodend and Maryborough.
The business employs about 185 staff, including up to 20 apprentices at any one time.
It produces 480 trailers each year using 100 per cent Australian steel.
About 7-8 apprentices are brought on board each year as part of the apprenticeship training schemes.
The trailers are designed with working drawings produced at the Woodend site and then built from "the ground up” by the team of boiler makers and welders.
Once the initial construction stage is completed, the frames are grit blasted and painted ready for fit out and delivery.
Barker's say a well structured team approach is the key to the Barker Trailers' quality.
"The milestone is testament to the strength of Victoria's manufacturing industry - an industry we'll continue to support to create jobs and boost our economy,” Minister for Industry and employment Ben Carroll said at the ceremony.
Victoria's manufacturing industry contributes $27.7billion to the Victorian economy, is made up of more than 13,000 businesses and employs more than 286,000 people, an increase of more than 20,000 over the past two years.
Manufacturing is Victoria's fourth largest employer and is responsible for $17.9billion worth of goods exports.