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AS a Western Australian station supervisor and a member of the Kimberley & Pilbara Cattleman’s Affiliation, Shane Dunn is keenly conscious of the challenges of workers retention – notably inside distant northern beef operations.
Mr Dunn is chief govt of Kimberley Agriculture and Pastoral Co, made up of 4 Indigenous-owned pastoral stations between Broome and Fitzroy Crossing in northern Western Australia. He’s additionally a director of the AgPathAus careers improvement and recruitment program.
The 4 KAPCo properties – Mt Anderson, Myroodah, Frazier Downs and Bohemia Downs – function below a single administration construction to benefit from the economies of scale supplied from an built-in pastoral enterprise.
KAPCo gives an avenue for Indigenous folks to realize coaching, expertise and employment on nation. Challenges within the area he cites embody retaining younger folks and a scarcity of funding in infrastructure akin to housing to allow good folks to make a life throughout the business.
“We (as an business) promote a enjoyable hole 12 months or two after which we lose them. We have to rethink what we’re doing and supply a transparent profession path,” Mr Dunn mentioned.
“As a jackeroo in 1980 at Brunette Downs, I recall a number one hand may arrange a life for his household and be given a home to dwell in – however nowadays, even a head stockman finds it exhausting to get these privileges,” he mentioned.
Regardless of the regular inflow of seasonal employees post-COVID, Mr Dunn mentioned expertise shortages remained a problem within the northern beef business.
“Backpackers and unskilled migrants might fill a sure hole, however it’s not serving to us a lot – most of our roles require coaching and expertise,” he mentioned.
Figuring out expertise gaps
The flexibility to map talent units at a person and crew degree will help employers establish areas needing improvement, Mr Dunn mentioned.
This system he has developed, AgPathAus, provides a skills-based evaluation device that helps establish the competency degree of the worker towards the function. This enables employers and workers to establish the place coaching budgets could be utilised to one of the best impact, bettering each the enterprise crew and the worker.
“Self-assessments and a supervisor evaluation towards a job are used to create a graph, displaying the place your crew sits – they may have spectacular livestock expertise however want some coaching with equipment or some work within the Office Well being and Security (WHS) house,” he mentioned.
The platform additionally permits workers to retailer their CVs, coaching data, licences and so forth, in a safe, cloud-based system. Profession path improvement is documented and is obtainable to the worker for all times.
Each day check-ins
On-property, one among Mr Dunn’s introductions to the KAPCo stations’ WHS is the day by day toolbox sheet.
It is a easy one-page doc utilized by the lead for the day with the crew.
“All names are written in, jobs defined, dangers and PPE verified, any damaged or broken gadgets reported after which signed off. It takes actually ten minutes, gives readability for the crew and provides us an auditable paper path,” Mr Dunn mentioned.