Business partnership is a cut above

Greenham Gippsland is an abattoir hit hard by the reduction in migrant workers over the last two years.

In the past, they have relied on workers from the Philippines, but would like to take on more local people into permanent roles.

This is where Greenham Gippsland OHS/HR officer Andrew Chippendale thinks a strong relationship with an employment agency comes in.

“There have only been two agencies that have supplied us, people, that want to have a go,” Mr Chippendale said, highlighting the relationship the business has built with Workways Australia.

“We went to a job fair in Morwell, which I think had 900-odd people through there for the day and all the people who applied ended up failing for numerous reasons; not up to getting out of bed early, not being able to pass the drug test, are the common two,”

“The guys at Workways have given us maybe 14 staff and probably we have got more out of Workways than from the actual job fair.”

Workways recruitment officer Ariel Kelly said Greenhams is an excellent business to work with.

“They are really easy to talk to, really good with their communication. They are a great business to work with,” Ms Kelly said.

“It makes you want to help them find people because they are such a good business to work for and want their employees to succeed.”

One of the people that Workways has successfully placed is Myla Stacey after she had been able unable to find employment in the past due to a language barrier and not holding a driving licence.

Greenhams is so committed to helping their staff that they organised a carpool to get Ms Stacey on-site.

“I found it comfortable here because they don’t push you straight into a job,” Ms Stacey said.

Greenhams is more than happy with the job of Ms Stacey as COVID cleaner and helping out in the laundry, with scope to move into other roles within the business over time.

“And then you got people like Myla who have kicked on and stayed on because they do have ago and turn up for work every day. She has the right attitude,” Mr Chippendale said.

“We will employ anybody, and we will give anybody a go, providing they want to be here. It is essential for Greenhams that they treat their people right because we need them to stay.

“We understand how hard it is to get people, which is why you probably treat them.”

Ms Stacey finds the people that she works with friendly and easy to talk to.

“I wouldn’t stay if I’m not comfortable; if I have a problem, you can just go and see them (Greenhams supervisors),” Ms Stacey said.

Around 260 people work at the Greenhams Moe site, with about 115 people on the Pacific labour scheme and the rest locals.

Ms Stacey was employed at Greenhams through the Jobs Victoria program, with Greenham employing people across multiple employment programs’, including disability and the transition to work for young people programs.

“The Jobs Victoria is just one of the contacts that Workways have. We are the largest pool of people from 18 to retirement age, as long as you are fit for work,” Ms Kelly said.

“We help people find sustainable careers, not just jobs. We are a long-term outcome service.”

“Our participants are voluntary, not mandatory and they can tell us where they want to go, so we can provide funding for courses and give them a career change.”

Greenham Gippsland is still looking for workers and anyone interested can contact Workways on 1800 631 196.

Gippsland Farmer

The Gippsland Farmer is a monthly agricultural newspaper reporting on rural news and distributed FREE and direct to an area covering from Cann River through to South Gippsland. For more than 40 years Gippsland Farmer has reported on a range of issues and industries including dairy, beef, vegetables, sheep, goats, poultry, organic farming, and viticulture.