PARTNERING WITH OUR CUSTOMER TO PLACE DIVERSE INDIVIDUALS IN THE BENDIGO REGION

Partnering with our customer to place diverse individuals in the Bendigo region

A recent partnership with one of our major FMCG customers highlights our capability in assisting individuals from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds.

Programmed’s Bendigo branch identified an opportunity to help our customer improve their recruitment strategy for finding local talent to fill roles in their factory near town. At that time, our customer had been getting some bad press in the local media for sourcing working holiday visa employees as opposed to sourcing local labour from the Bendigo region.

Programmed met with representatives from our customer, a local employment services provider and other local stakeholders to discuss a future recruitment model for our customer’s site.

After further discussions, the team discovered a local CALD community group, the Karen people, who would benefit greatly from this local employment opportunity.

The Karen people are an ethnic group from South-East Asia with their own distinct languages and culture. Karen refugees have been settling in Bendigo since 2007 as the quiet, rural nature of the area is similar to their homeland.

Working with the local employment services provider, we quickly identified a list of Karen candidates that had the required level of English comprehension to understand the health and safety requirements to work at our customer’s factory.

Following the recruitment process, six Karen candidates were selected to commence work.

For most of the candidates, this would be their first job and first introduction to an Australian work environment. Furthermore, their general level of English was poor. Fortunately, the group was undeterred, because thanks to our post-placement support, each of the workers has proven to be very successful in their roles, while continuing to follow safe work practices.

Our customer was involved throughout the recruitment process. Together we planned meticulously how we would introduce the Karen people into the factory, without them being overwhelmed in a factory that employs around 1,600 people.

Our Karen employees have now worked with our customer for over 12 months and continue to work on the smallgoods packing roster five days per week.

The Bendigo branch has since introduced more Karen people, along with other CALD job seekers, to our customer’s factory with the same success, with a total of 15 job seekers placed since March 2015.

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