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AME Systems, which provides customised electrical wiring solutions for buses, trains, trams and heavy industry vehicles, was struggling to find suitable workers.
Human Resources coordinator Steve Rodis said the family-run company had grown significantly over the past 18 months and needed more staff to sustain that growth.
‘We were struggling to get quality people,’ Steve said.
‘Quality in terms of attitude—people who’d turn up each day engaged and ready to work. It’s about the fit.
We can train for skills but we employ based on attitude.’
Working with AME Systems, local jobactive providers and Jobs Victoria, the Department of Jobs and Small Business helped develop an innovative solution.
Westvic Staffing Solutions was engaged to develop a two-week pre-employment training course, based around employability skills and as well as skills specific to the needs of AME Systems.
In addition, Westvic would be there to support any young people who were successful in being employed.
With help from jobactive provider MADEC, about 30 interested young people turned up for an information session, and from that a group of 14 were shortlisted to start the two weeks of training.
MADEC area manager Dee Devlin said that at the end of the training, the candidates were each required to give a presentation and then had a follow-up interview with AME Systems.
The result was that 10 local young people were selected for ongoing employment.
‘A really important part of this process is that Westvic is on board for another 12 weeks to mentor the new starters. They’re not just left to their own devices,’ Dee said.
‘For some of these young people, the transition to work hasn’t been easy. They were finding it tough because they just weren’t used to being on their feet all day. But they’ve persevered with great support from the trainer.’
Steve Rodis said the process of collaboration and training has worked so well that AME Systems is now embarking on a second round with another group of young people keen for work.
‘After a pretty rigorous selection process, this was always going to be won or lost based on the quality of the trainer and the ongoing mentoring,’ Steve said.
‘Westvic understood the important things like being on time, being clean, well-presented and engaged.’
Cody is one of the young people who was successful in getting a job. He also valued the training.
‘It was informative and increased my understanding of AME Systems’ core values and their commitment to quality,’ Cody said.
‘I was thrilled to get a job as it will provide ongoing job security and is a great opportunity in a regional country location.’
AME Systems one of only four major employers in Ararat, which has a population of about 12,000.
The unemployment rate in the Ararat Local Government Area stood at 5.6 per cent in the December quarter 2017 (latest available data), up from the 5.0 per cent recorded the previous year.