Kawana-based engineering company Manuplex has been awarded “more than $500,000” in assistance through the Queensland Manufacturing Hubs Grant Program, which will contribute to purchasing four new steel rollforming machines and CAD software.
The grant was announced on Wednesday morning at an event at Manuplex’s site.
Managing Director Matt Jurkic said the grant would help the company address a supply shortage in the construction market, hire 16 new staff, and upskill current ones.
“I know local builders who are frustrated – they can’t accept any more contracts and are struggling to complete the contracts they have due to the supply shortages, labour issues and increased costs on materials. This will help them get their business moving quickly again too,” said Jurkic.
“We were able to work with the government, who were great in helping us getting the funding quickly. The first machine has arrived and we’re already expanding our workforce.
“We’ve had overwhelming interest in the roles we’ve advertised so we’ll be able to run the machinery in shifts. We’re also hiring more women than ever before, so this represents a step towards diversity, upskilling and growth for our team in a traditionally male-dominated industry.”
According to its website, Manuplex was established in 2011 and serves the mining, construction and defence sectors. It manufactures, installs and maintains steel and concrete products.
Member for Rockhampton Barry O’Rourke said the company would meet an existing gap in the housing market.
“Manuplex has been able to pivot from its current manufacture of steel frames and trusses for mining and commercial purposes, to creating steel frames for residential homes,” said the MP, who added that housing availability was “top of mind” in central Queensland.
“This builds on the skills and capabilities of its existing workforce and capitalises on the business’s strengths. This is an area they are already familiar with and can move into seamlessly.”
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