JBS Bordertown welcomes new recruits | Frontier Chronicle
Bordertown recently welcomed new faces through the Pacific Australian Labor Mobility Scheme (PLS).
The JBS Bordertown site welcomed 90 new employees from the Pacific Islands to work in Australia for three years.
New staff from Tonga, Fiji and Papua New Guinea were introduced to existing staff at a welcome barbecue dinner at Tatiara Lodge.
JBS Plant Manager Trevor Schiller explained that everyone had been welcomed by the company and the wider community with open arms, which he was delighted to see.
Mr. Schiller explained that part of their staffing problem was the severe lack of available housing in the district, which is why JBS now provides housing for its staff.
PLS workers have been provided with very suitable accommodation in Bordertown and Wolseley, much of which includes Tatiara Lodge, the former Dukes Motor Inn, Mr Shiller said.
“From what we heard [about Tatiara Lodge]it’s probably best in class of what’s available and what’s on offer, so we’re lucky the standard we offer is really first class,” he said.
“They are all great people, they have all made sacrifices to be here for the future of their families, they are looking forward to work, they are enjoying the accommodation and what the Tatiara has to offer”
The lodge has a grassed area for staff to play rugby, volleyball and exercise while not working and they have been provided with vans to get around and explore the area during their time free.
The lodge has two chefs, a resident staff liaison and a groundskeeper/maintenance worker to make sure everything runs smoothly for new arrivals.
Mr. Schiller told the story of one of his new employees.
“He shows up every day he can and his dream is to buy, after three years, a house in Tonga for his family,” he said.
“And he definitely will, because he’s committed and that’s a dream that I guess a lot of people don’t have in their home countries.”
Mr. Shciller also said the new hires had filled the significant void in their personnel issues.
“For the past two years, like many other businesses, we are in desperate need of workers,” he said.
“Over the past two years, we’ve probably peaked at almost 85 people missing every day.”
He was extremely complimentary and proud of his existing staff who had held the ropes and provided extra work to continue the operations of the factory.
“The team that held on did an amazing job, just working overtime, coming in and working overtime – I can’t say enough good things about the team and their commitment,” he said. he declares.
“We had between 30 and 40 people who came to their RDO to come and help us, which is exceptional.
“Obviously everyone is pretty excited about the new team.
“I have never seen an entire room cheering and clapping and appreciating the fact that the military is here and the resources are there.
“They are there to help the team and help relieve the pressure.”
Mr. Schiller said the new staff are integrating extremely well and are quickly taking on the different roles in plant operations.
“What we’re seeing is that they pick things up extremely quickly,” he said.
“These guys, where they’re from in Fiji and Tonga, the only rates there aren’t very attractive at all and the conditions they work under aren’t either.”
As for helping new staff culturally acclimate to life in Australia, Mr Schiller said they had received a lot of help from the Migrant Resource Center and were also looking to hire staff to support them specifically.
“We have received great support from the Migrant Resource Center and the Council,” he said.
“It’s amazing how people just offer help and support.
“They play their rugby and they are also very keen to watch the AFL.
“We give them the opportunity to explore. We have vans that the company provides for them, so they have wheels, we encourage them to explore the areas.”