A new state government grants program could be a boon for a Melton plastics manufacturer that faced job cuts after Victoria’s automotive industry shut up shop earlier this year.

In October, MHG Plastics Ltd, which produces car parts from its Toolern Vale factory, axed 20 jobs as a result of Toyota’s Altona plant closure – signalling the end of auto manufacturing on home soil.

The manufacturer is among 16 businesses in line to receive assistance through the state government’s new Automotive Supply Chain Transition Program which aims to help those impacted by the closure to diversify and enter new markets.

Industry and employment minister Ben Carroll said the program provides companies with intensive support to guide them through the transition period.

“We believe there is a strong future for the sector,” Mr Carroll said.

“Through the Automotive Supply Chain Transition Program, we are helping companies … identify future markets, plan for transition and ensure their workforce is sustainable”

Under the program, business can apply for grants of up to $16,000 to develop a transition plan and up to $55,000 to implement the changes.

Australian Manufacturing Workers Union representative Leon White told

Star Weekly he welcomed the government assistance package for the industry and hoped it would prevent more job losses in the future.

MHG Plastics was contacted by

Star Weekly but did not want to comment.

Automotive supply chain companies that are yet to apply for the program can submit an application by March 2 next year.

The package is in addition to more than $100 million in initiatives to support those hardest hit by the closures.

For information or to apply, go to www.business.vic.gov.au/asctp