Food sector training program sweeps awards
An innovative partnership to prepare job seekers for employment in the food industry has garnered major acclaim in recent months, winning three awards from the Training and Skills Commission and the Adult Learners’ Week awards.
The awards recognise the life-changing results achieved by Murraylands Food Alliance (MFA) Jobs for Murraylands for more than 50 participants, 70% of whom have moved into sustainable employment.
One participant, Tristan, had been unemployed for more than two years, and was losing hope of ever finding employment again. The program helped him regain his self-confidence, and ultimately the strength to present his application to a local food industry employer.
Before undertaking their industry training, participants were assisted to overcome employment barriers, and to build resilience, self-esteem and motivation. They also received a gym membership to prepare them for the physical demands of the industry. Says Tristan, “The experience helped me out a lot.”
Tristan is now on a dedicated pathway to a management role. His employer at Pineview Poultry, Robert Sherrah, says that “We took him on, and were very impressed with his work ethic. We were so impressed that we got another staff member [from the program].”
Tristan says he is “very grateful to be back in an industry I really enjoy and to have found an employer like Robert who is prepared to support my career.”
MFA Jobs 4 Murraylands was tailored specifically to the needs of both participants and partner employers.
It was created in partnership between RDA Murraylands and Riverland and the Murraylands Food Alliance, and supported by the Department of State Development.
The idea behind the program was to address the disconnect between high unemployment levels in the region, and the high demand for suitably skilled and motivated workers.
Winning the Industry Collaboration Award in the 2017 South Australian Training Awards, the program will now go on to compete as a finalist in the Training and Skills Commission’s prestigious Australian Training Awards in November.
The program also took home Learning Program of the Year and Adult Educator of the Year at the South Australian Adult Learners’ Week awards.
With the second year of the program currently underway in the Murraylands, and an expansion in the works for the Riverland, the highly successful model is also drawing the notice of other regions.