INGHAMS: “Doing the right things and doing things right”
Inghams is a multifaceted company that is today a large and significant contributor to the food industry, in particular the poultry industry. In face, Inghams has become the largest producer of meat chickens and turkeys in Australia , employing over 8,000 staff nationally.
Inghams philosophy of “Doing the right things and doing things right” is evident in the commitment they have to their employees.
In May 2007, Disability WORKS Australia (DWA) Western Australian staff approached Inghams about improving the recruitment of people with a disability into Inghams operations. It was refreshing to hear that Inghams WA operations were already working collaboratively with a handful of Disability Employment Networks on placing people with a disability. Inghams were more than happy to develop an ongoing relationship with DWA and to review their existing recruitment process to open up the opportunity to increase the number of people with a disability in their workforce.
Since May 2007, Inghams have forwarded DWA 24 job opportunities to advertise within Western Australia. These have included factory work, egg collectors and farm hands, feed mill operators, truck drivers and administrative positions.
Inghams have employed seven people through DWA, six of whom are still successfully employed. Megan O'Mara, Recruitment Officer and Megan Brennan, Occupational Health & Safety Officer for Inghams, work hard to place people in positions that best suit their disability. Two outstanding examples of their commitment to people with a disability can be illustrated through George and Nik's stories.
George Punevski was employed in August 2007. George is profoundly deaf and has tunnel vision. The first position he was placed in required a level of co-ordination that proved to be too difficult for George and despite George's best efforts he was unable to achieve in this position. George was then placed in another section cutting chicken into strips for Kentucky Fried Chicken. Deafinite Employment Services provided excellent job support but George was still struggling to meet the requirements for this job. Warren, the plant manager at Inghams, was very impressed with George's excellent attitude to his job. He was a reliable worker who gave 100% and was well liked by all the staff.
Rather than let George go, Inghams continued to source a position that suited his skills and abilities. George was transferred to the boning line and given the job of hanging the chickens. This position suited George as it required a slower and steadier pace and George is now firmly established in the position and requires little support. In face, George has now become a permanent full time worker at Inghams.
Nik began work as a Hatchery Assistant at the Wanneroo Farm in September 2007.
Nik was anxious about returning to the workplace as he had been a victim of bullying at his last workplace which resulted in hospitalization for severe depression. He disclosed this at his initial interview at Inghams and was reassured that Inghams have a no tolerance approach to workplace bullying and was given a brochure outlining where to seek assistance if bullying occurred in the future.
Nik has become a valued team member at the Farm. He is very reliable and just gets on with the job. The support and empathy that his employer has given him has resulted in Nik's confidence and self esteem greatly improving.
Inghams and DWA continue to actively develop the recruitment process with Inghams reaping the rewards.
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