With chicken production expanding in South Australia there is a growing need for staff at many levels of the industry. Identifying suitable farmhand staff, and putting them through basic training, is a challenging and time-consuming task for owners, and managers of broiler farms which has been recognised by the Baiada Contract Broiler Growers in the Pt Wakefield area of South Australia.
To address this issue, a pre-employment training program was set-up as an initiative of Regional Development Australia, in conjunction with the Baiada Contract Broiler Growers – Pt Wakefield District, and supported by the Department of State Development. Recently eight participants completed a 3-week training program, the second such program run this year, designed to assist them in establishing a career in the chicken industry. So far, the program has been successful in getting ten people into jobs and good prospects for more in the future.
The training program was coordinated and presented by the Independent Institute (IIFP) with the generous support of the local employers who provided work experience opportunities for the trainees. The course exposed the participants to the basics of work health and safety processes in the industry, as well as biosecurity, animal welfare, poultry health and husbandry, including feed and water supply, and maintaining production environments.
Seven days were spent in practical work experience on local farms providing participants with hands-on contact with the industry across a variety of stages of production, and enabling them to experience the skills required securing farmhand roles, and hopefully becoming future farm managers one day. These skills were aligned to nationally accredited units of competency within the Poultry Production qualification and all participants were issued a Statement of Attainment for their achievement.
Growers are finding the selection process for trainees, and the subsequent training and work experience opportunities, provides job candidates well advanced in skills and knowledge compared to the typical raw recruit to the industry.
IIFP would also like to thank all the partners that supported this concept from the beginning, which include the management team of the Department of State Development, Regional Development Australia, and the local Baiada Contract Broiler Growers group. The support from Baiada, particularly Marc Tan, Baiada Field Service Manager, for the Port Wakefield area was also greatly appreciated.
Article by Robert Mugford, Training Consultant Independent Institute
Phone: 08 8258 4042