THERE have been a few great events in the past month, but also huge changes to the norm.
Not surprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we operate at Poultry Hub Australia. We are now working from home and connecting on a regular basis using online platforms. We are still open for business and will continue to support the Australian poultry industry. In March, we attended EvokeAg in Melbourne.
EvokeAg is an event that allows delegates to explore what’s next in the agrifood tech space, covering three main themes of food, farm and future. The conference was an immersive experience, delivering diverse topics and cutting-edge innovation from across the nation and around the world. It is the only event of its type where people come together to connect, collaborate and evolve all things agriculture in Australia.
The PHA team went along to learn what new things were available and also to showcase our virtual chicken experience. There were about 1300 attendees and many of them visited the PHA space. Of the delegates who attended the PHA display, many said “that was not what I expected”, and thought the experience was “a great resource to teach chicken anatomy, which could be easily transferred to all agricultural industries”.
There were many businesses and organisations involved including state governments, universities, CSIRO, Department of Primary Industries and rural research and development corporations. Overall, EvokeAg was a great event to attend. Poultry Hub’s Job Ready Training initiative has taken flight under the wings of Education Officer Bruce Dennison.
Since November, we have had 40 new registrations, 33 of whom have completed training. Most pleasing is eight trainees have commenced employment either on a farm with broilers, on egg farms or in the processing plant within the New England region of NSW. One of the successful new recruits to our industry is Adam.
After being unemployed and on the jobseeker list for over eight months, Adam was feeling down and lacking in self-esteem and confidence. He felt he was never going to gain employment again, especially since his previous employment ended on a negative note. Adam had been actively looking for a new job when his job coach referred him to Poultry Hub’s Job Ready Training, which proved to be a life-changing moment for Adam.
He attended the four-day poultry training, where he gained valuable knowledge of the poultry industry, hands-on skills, as well as confidence from the inclusive and welcoming environment. Adam, with Poultry Hub certificate in hand, attended an interview at a recruitment agency, where he was offered an on-farm experience to get a closer look at the employment opportunity.
He enjoyed this experience and was soon offered a position to do some floor walking and general farm work, of which he accepted. When asked by Education Officer Bruce Dennison how work was going, “Absolutely loving it” was Adam’s response. Bruce keeps in regular contact with many of our participants to ensure they have ongoing support when transitioning into the industry.
“We have been in regular contact with Adam and his employer, to keep track of him,” Mr Dennison said. “We have received positive feedback from both Adam, the farm and the recruitment agency.” Through partnerships with other community organisations, Poultry Hub Australia has been able to provide support to all participants, ensuring young people continue to be employed in the poultry industry, and choose to stay on for a career in our ever-growing workforce.
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Tamsyn Crowly, Poultry Hub