Mackay Conveyor Equipment Paget awarded $28,000 grant
IT IS testimony that a pinch of optimism and innovation can pay dividends for Mackay's business community.
Mackay Conveyor Equipment Paget has not only remained viable but diversified and expanded operations, despite the downturn in mining activity.
Jason Kelly, MCE's managing director, said a newly awarded $28,000 Federal Government Industry Skills Fund grant would help retrain staff to tap into gold, uranium and sugar markets.
He said dismissing diversification in addition to mining would likely have led to the "slow death" of MCE.
"We were predominately focused on the conveyors associated with coal mining, largely in the underground market," Mr Kelly said.
"But things have changed, they aren't going back to the way they were, so we're diversifying and finding different ways of keeping people employed and sustaining a business.
"We've done a gap analysis and as a result almost everyone is doing some training."
MCE's work, involving a varying roster of about 15-35 staff, had been providing parts and maintenance to coal mines in the Bowen Basin.
But expanding into other areas ensured a predictable future, Mr Kelly said.
He encouraged other businesses to check out the fund, adding "the paperwork wasn't even too bad".
Member for Dawson George Christensen congratulated the business.
"They're upskilling staff in business administration and background things to break into new markets - marketing, research and a variety of other training modules," he said.
"Many businesses in Mackay region have taken advantage of the Skills Fund and they should continue to."
Industry Skills Fund
Grants for training and support to boost business growth
Must be a micro, small or medium-sized business
Visit www.business. gov.au