The Weekly Grill

S3 Ep32: Addressing the labour crisis in the bush, with recruiter Ray Johnson and labour provider Tom Reardon

This week’s Weekly Grill podcast focusses on the labour ‘drought’ sweeping Australian agriculture.

Host Kerry Lonergan has conversations with two ag recruitment specialists – one working at the executive/middle management level, and the other in general labour resourcing.

Tom Reardon

Tom Reardon is the co-founder and director of People Infrastructure and AWX – Partners in People, two leading labour hire and workforce management businesses providing a supply of contract staff, permanent recruitment and total workforce management. AWX has multiple businesses servicing meat processing, industrial and commercial sectors and other fields.

Mr Reardon says his businesses currently have 5000 job vacancies on their books – an all-time high. Retention is also an issue, with turnover up to 100pc annually in some jobs. Additionally, his company rents out up to 1500 houses every week across regional and rural Australia to accommodate personnel. They often have to be furnished and even provide transport.

Ray Johnson

At the higher end of the rural jobs market, Dr Ray Johnson has 33 years experience in the industry as managing director of executive and senior management recruiters, Agricultural Appointments.

His business is constantly on the lookout for talent and says there should be more farming skills taught in schools at the basic level to build a platform to work from.

Tax breaks for people working in regional and rural Australia was seen as one possible solution to the current labour vacuum in the bush.


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