Take hard work out of labour hire - Training company makes it easy for farmers to employ workers
When it comes to employing labour on the farm, many potential employers are put off by the process; working out wages, taxes, super and WorkCover can be daunting.
Leitchville dairy farmers Brad and Leesa Windridge chose to employ their trainee Jordyn Sleep through Murray Mallee Training Company. The company takes the hassle out of the employment process and does the hard work for them; the Windridges in effect lease their trainee from the company, which in turn pays their trainee.
It is a relationship that appears to benefit the three parties - Murray Mallee has placed a trainee, the Windridges don't have to worry about any of the paperwork and Mr Sleep receives an Australia-wide recognised qualification.
"The headache of the whole employment process has been taken away from us, which frees up our time," Mrs Windridge said.
A representative from the company turns up every 6 weeks to talk to both parties to make sure everything is tracking well, and Mr Sleep is able to do all of his training on-farm, thus avoiding having to attend trade school in another town.
"It is good to see someone learning new skills and also be keen to learn them," Mr Windridge said.
"Employing a trainee means we can train Jordyn the way that suits our busines because he doesn't have any pre-conceived ideas on how things should be done."
"The headache of the whole employment process has been taken away from us which frees up our time." Brad Windridge
Mr Sleep initially began milling on the weekends just to earn some extra money, and he has surprised himself by how much he enjoys life on the farm.
"I didn't know what I wanted to do when I left school and I didin't know the first thing about farming," he said.
"I started milling on the weekends for Brad Lessa and never once did I think I would be a dairy farmer, but I started out and found out I really enjoyed it. Having Murray Mallee involved makes everything organised and less stressful for me and my employees, because they look after everything."
While Mr Sleep enjoys all aspects of the farm he has a particular love for cows and would one day like to own some of his own.
Murray Mallee apprentice and trainee consultant Peter Den Houting said there had been a spike in demand for dairy industry trainees.
"We have quite a few farmers looking for trainees at the moment, and because of the skills shortage there is quite good government incentives for both parties," he said.
"Employers come to us looking for employees or people to us looking for traineeships or apprenticeships. Essentially we employ the person and lease them to the employer, who pays us fortnightly and we then in turn pay the trainee weekly."
Mr Houting said many people were unaware of the oppurtunities the dairy industry provided and the care choices that were available.
Certificate III in dairy is an 18-month training program open to people of any age, and while there is an award wage, employers can choose to pay above that. At the end of the traineeship, among other things, a person will be competent in four-wheel motorbike driving, front-end loader and chemical use, and basic OH&S principles.
Participants are also encouraged to complete an AI course.