The program will solve a significant skill shortage in Far North Queensland for large employers including processing plants, box manufacturers and local council. As a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, these big regional employers were left in crisis as they relied heavily on seasonal workers such as backpackers and travellers to fill roles.
Angus Knight Group and Jobfind approached the Department of Education, Skills and Employment for funding under the Local Jobs Program. The funding will assist in selecting newly unemployed locals and transporting those workers. One of the main barriers is the distance and time to travel up the range from Innisfail to Mareeba.
Angus Knight Group has pushed ahead and fully funded the pre-employment program in lieu of government funding to show our commitment.
Currently, a pool of candidates has been vetted and put forward to APG Workforce. Successful candidates will then undergo training that has a component of soft skills and how to succeed in the job and vital parts of how chicken processing works, including quarantine and animal cruelty rules and regulations.
They will also tour the box factory for those working there assembling produce boxes for local farmers. As the work is relatively seasonal, training those workers in both jobs will help ensure the longevity of the positions.
Glen Redman, CEO of APG Workforce, said the program will deliver real employment opportunities to the region.
“Jobfind and Angus Knight Group have been instrumental in helping to solve a major skill shortage in Cairns. The pre-employment program will help us to deliver quality workers to major employers in the region. I look forward to working with them to provide real solutions to employers and job seekers.”