Leveltec Engineering is growing jobs in Gloucester

Ben Stokes, Maddy Andrews, Codie O'Brien and Josh Walker with the new-used Finn-Power Punch machines that punches and forms metal. Photo Anne Keen
Ben Stokes, Maddy Andrews, Codie O'Brien and Josh Walker with the new-used Finn-Power Punch machines that punches and forms metal. Photo Anne Keen

Leveltec Engineering has a plan to grow its business and, with it, the ability to employ more people in Gloucester.

The company has come a long way since moving its operations to Gloucester back in 2008.

Dallas Stokes brought the business, with its then two employees, from Newcastle with big hopes of expanding. Now, his son, Ben Stokes is running things with 11 employees; a number that is continuing to grow.

“Back then there wasn’t any onsite administration,” Ben said.

“We now run all of that out of the office in Gloucester.”

Gloucester is the headquarters for the business which specialises in the manufacturing and distribution of electrical control devices.

It creates a finished product for a customer which can involve importing different components that may be needed to create the final product.

The distribution of the end products can be either within Australia or overseas.  

Over the years, Leveltec has been working hard on an economic development plan in order to stay competitive in the marketplace. 

Ben said they had tried numerous government funding schemes, but the money provided didn’t become available until the end of the project and required a large amount of job creation, which were both out of the scope of Leveltec.

So when the AGL’s Gloucester Independent Community Legacy Fund became available, Leveltec kicked the plan into high gear and submitted for the first round in late 2016.

“AGL was a different type of scheme,” Ben explained.

“With the milestone setup, funds are distributed throughout the project per milestone outcome.”

He explained this works more in line with a businesses growth model, by creating goals for the company to reach in stages, providing capital along the way to support the growth.

Leveltec was successful in receiving some funding support for the creation of six new jobs. The project included the set up a new electrical assembly workshop, updated equipment and computer software, and increased storage to make the import and distribution more efficient.

It has also set up a welding training facility to help support students completing vocational courses that require a practical component. 

“The future projection is to potentially double the level of employment within the organisation,” Ben said

Leveltec was on such as roll the company applied for a second round of funding to keep the momentum, which was successfully received.

“The aim over the whole project (both rounds of funding) based on sales projections was to increase our full time equivalent employment by 10 by 2020,” he explained.

“So far the project has created six full time equivalent positions and this year we will be looking to expand on a couple more positions in sales and logistics.”

“Some of the positions will fall outside of the Gloucester region however these external roles support the sustainability and continued success of the jobs in the town,” he said.

He expressed how important it was to keep people working in Gloucester and to keep encouraging new families to move to town.

“Gloucester is a great place to run a business.” Ben said.

“Keeping people employed here means they keep spending their money here; buying food, fuel, that kind of thing.”

“Our plan is to stay here and continue to grow.”