Regional Highlight

Free service landing TFI workers new jobs

Following the disastrous fire at Thomas Foods International in January this year, RDA Murraylands and Riverland jumped in to help displaced workers to find new jobs and stay in the region.

The saying goes, one door closes and another one opens. While many TFI staff continue to be redeployed to other sites, some workers are seeking new opportunities. The RDA’s free Jobs Connection Service matches these jobseekers with local employers.

There are more than 150 jobs with over 50 employers currently on the books.

One of those employers is Costa Group’s Adelaide Mushrooms. State Manager Clint Ray says “Our business is expanding – we’ll double in size within the year – so we’re on the lookout for talented new staff.”

“The team at RDA have been fantastic. They’ve turned a crisis situation around, giving hope to people who thought they were out of a job and would have to move.”

Following this leg up, some workers have already taken the next step and found new careers in the mushroom business. “They’ve really hit the ground running,” says Clint.

“The RDA helps us out a lot, so we trust them. When we came to them and said there were job openings, we knew they would put forward some great candidates.”

As well as job matching, help is offered on writing resumes and applications, and up to $2,000 per worker is available to help them reskill for new careers.

Project Manager Vanessa Liebelt says that “people are taking this opportunity to really consider their career path. I’ve seen packers, processors and slaughterers retrain and seek employment in corrections, mining and aged care roles.”

With many former TFI workers having already sought RDA assistance to help them with the first step of a new chapter in their careers – – one has started their own cleaning business, one has gone into full-time study at university, two have started part-time study in region, and ten have increased their hours and are now working full-time.

People accessing the service have a huge range of skills, so this is a great opportunity for regional employers looking to grow their team.

“There are lab techs, cleaners, maintenance workers, gardeners, builders and people experienced in Quality Assurance,” says Vanessa.

“Local employers are jumping at the chance to pick up some quality talent.”

The Jobs Connection Service is proudly run by RDA Murraylands and Riverland, with funding from the Department of State Development.

All TFI workers looking for a new job or career are encouraged to contact RDAMR to discuss the opportunities available, on 8535 7170 or at 137 Adelaide Road, Murray Bridge.

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“[The program] gave us enough background to know where to channel our efforts and find out if export is the right thing for us.”

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