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Just ring for work advice

Here to help: Kylie Barry will lead the Dairy Workforce Project across Gippsland.

THE Gippsland labour landscape is set to change with the creation of the Dairy Workforce Project.

To be launched at this week’s South Gippsland Dairy Expo in Korumburra, the project will provide Gippsland dairy farmers and farm workers with support ranging from workplace relations, education and job availability.

Kylie Barry, who will co-ordinate the project, said tackling labour issues was vital to create a more productive dairy industry in Gippsland.

“This is something that farmers have been asking for help with, so GippsDairy has taken on the challenge and established the Dairy Workforce Project,” she said.

“We want to provide dairy farmers and farm workers with easy access to everything from the latest workplace regulations, awards and obligations, to the education opportunities available within the industry.”

An important part of the project will be a dairy employment ‘marketplace’ where Gippsland farmers and farm workers can look for suitable employment partnerships.

Available on the GippsDairy website, the employment page will be vetted to ensure that only legitimate jobs and job seekers are displayed.

“Getting the right people matched with the right farms is the best way to ensure good workplace relations and a successful working partnership,” Ms Barry, who was previously the Young Dairy  Development Project Gippsland co-ordinator, said.

“We hope that farmers and workers will be able to use this free service to find their ideal employee and employer.”

The increasingly complicated workplace landscape has left many farmers struggling to keep up with changes in regulations and responsibilities.

Ms Barry believes the Dairy Workforce Project will help farmers and farm workers through the maze of workplace relations.

“Most dairy farms are not big enough to have their own HR department, so I can be their HR support line,” she said.

“I’m there to try and point them in the right direction. We want farmers to feel comfortable to contact us whether they feel they are currently compliant or not.”

Whether it is getting the right regulatory information, matching farmers with farm workers or looking at further education, Ms Barry said communication is the key.

“We want to facilitate a flow of information about everything to do with the dairy workplace,” she said.

“If farm employees and employers know where to go to ask that first question, then a lot of workplace problems can be worked out before they become major issues.”

GippsDairy executive officer Dr Danielle Auldist said the Dairy Workforce Project could make a significant difference to the productivity and profitability for the region’s farmers.

“This is about responding to the needs of the dairy industry and providing the type of support that many farmers need in the area of employee management,” she said.

“Using dairy levy funds for outcomes that help both farmers and farm workers is a great result for the whole industry.”

The project launch will be held on Wednesday, September 26 from 11am to noon in the grandstand at the Dairy Expo with an interactive panel discussion led by Murray Goulburn’s Mark Jago.

Anyone interested is welcome to attend.

To contact the Dairy Workforce Project call the GippsDairy office on 5624 3900 or 0427 220 104 or by email on people@gippsdairy.com.au.

Short URL: http://thestar.com.au/?p=5006

Posted by on Sep 25 2012. Filed under Rural News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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