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Jayco: manufacturing award-winning training

28 November 2023

Jayco Australia is an iconic brand of recreational vehicles that employs more than 1,100 employees and boasts a 50-acre state-of-the art facility in Dandenong.


Within that facility is the renowned Jayco Training Academy, which delivers immersive learning experiences and courses in leadership, service and repair, competitive systems and practices, engineering-fabrication, plumbing, and women in leadership programs. 

Jayco’s commitment to training led to a Victorian Training Award, celebrating the achievements of individuals, employers and training providers in Victoria. 

New skills and upskilling

From inducting new starters to upskilling existing staff, employees spend an average of 15 hours per month in Jayco training, which focuses on a range of technical, safety and quality aspects.  

“We're very big on training. There is a skills shortage. We can’t expect that new starters will come with the experience that we require. So we train on the job,” says Jayco Training Manager Cristy Tessier. 

“They learn the values of Jayco, the tools, the expectations, the benefits, everything that Jayco stands for – this building is the start of that.” 

Jayco partnered with the Victorian Chamber’s Training team to deliver a bespoke Certificate III in Competitive Systems and Practices, uplifting efficiency in a person’s own work role or the efficiency of a team. 

“We're very focused on safety, quality and continuous improvement. We've worked closely with the Victorian Chamber to develop a program that has really helped close some of those skills gaps on the floor.” 

Jayco’s training has delivered benefits for individuals and the company, contributing to increased productivity, product quality and leadership. 

“It's really great for staff to have that nationally recognised qualification. It makes them feel valued and makes them feel they can be more efficient at their job.  

“For the business it's great because we're investing in our people. They're the people that will come in with fresh eyes and give us ideas about how to be more efficient, to work safely and produce quality outputs.” 

Jayco has a ‘skills matrix’ that helps staff evaluate their competencies and the requirements needed to learn and ‘cross-skill’ in other areas. 

“I've never experienced such an inclusive organisation that actively fosters growth opportunities for its employees,” Cristy says. 

“Our production managers have gone from being a general hand to a team leader, supervisor into management roles.  The world is their oyster because there are so many opportunities here at Jayco.”  

Early steps 

Another aspect of Jayco’s employment strategy is engaging with local schools and communities to showcase career opportunities for students. 

“A lot of students think apprenticeships are in construction, electrical and plumbing. But we try to show them another angle – that there are opportunities in manufacturing,” Cristy says. 

“Manufacturing is alive. It’s important to share that with the students and give them opportunities here to try it, because we want to return the sovereign capabilities to Australia in manufacturing.” 

Jayco had up to 200 people go through its traineeship programs in this year alone. 

“It's not solely about showcasing the factories; it's also about demonstrating the array of career opportunities available in both the factory and office including production, research and development, engineering, sales, marketing, human resources, finance and purchasing.

“We even do our sewing and filling here – the tents and the cushions, welding and putting chassis together.  

“There's just so much and it's really important to show students that.”  

Boosting Business with Career Services

Businesses highly value the role of career services in creating a high performing and efficient labour market. 

Following feedback that a current lack of adequate career services is having a negative impact on the labour market, and after extensive consultation with members and stakeholders, the Victorian Chamber released our Boosting Business with Career Services Policy Paper.  

The Paper delivers 29 recommendations to improve the future of careers services nationally, ensuring that every Australian can access the support they need to thrive in the workforce of tomorrow.  

The full paper and recommendations can be read via the Career Services Policy Paper.  


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