Feature

Indigenous employment to bolster farm workers

FARMERS’ FRIENDS: Russell Kapeen (Kurachee), Allen Bowcock (First Sun Employment), Lance Manton (Bogal Land Council), Thomas Roberts, Janice Gomes and John Lee (First Sun Employment).
FARMERS’ FRIENDS: Russell Kapeen (Kurachee), Allen Bowcock (First Sun Employment), Lance Manton (Bogal Land Council), Thomas Roberts, Janice Gomes and John Lee (First Sun Employment).

A LISMORE indigenous employment agency has come up with an idea to provide employment on farms to Aboriginal people in Coraki.

Allen Bowcock, site manager of First Sun Employment, said this week that the mining industry is "poaching" farm workers - often the adult children of farmers - who head to mining areas in search of a higher income.

"We know that the mining sector has targeted farm workers for the mining industry because of the skills, work ethic and knowledge that they bring to the job," Mr Bowcock said.

"This is draining the farming sector of qualified, skilled workers. We also know that finding good quality people to work in the farming sector is difficult.

"What we're proposing to do is work with the farmer to build a reliable local labour force to assist with their future needs. First Sun Employment has been working in collaboration with some Coraki farmers to identify those needs and we have the opportunity and resources to help them. Tapping into the local resources makes a lot of sense."

Mr Bowcock said many candidates for training haven't worked in the farming sector before.

"As valued clients of First Sun Employment, they would attract substantial wage subsidies, to assist farmers with the start-up and productivity development periods," he said.

"Indigenous clients 'know and feel' the land just as the farmer does. It's in their spirit to care for the land. Tractor driving and farm operations are skills that can be taught. Then there will be an ongoing resource bank of great people who will be trusted to do the job to farmers' plans and requirements."

Mr Bowcock said that since transport was a problem for many Aboriginal people in Coraki, training group Novaskill would offer courses in the town.

"And Coraki is a town that has some problems. Elders are worried about the young fellas losing sight of their cultural stuff.

"We hope that by employing some of the Aboriginal men we might build better relationships between the indigenous and farming communities. For us, it's about people still identifying as Aboriginal but getting to a place where they have access to jobs and incomes."

Allen Bowcock wants to talk to farmers in the Coraki district who would be interested in exploring the opportunities his company wants to offer.

First Sun is at 92 Woodlark Street in Lismore. Phone 6621 6833.

Topics:  employment training and education


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Commercial fishers get extension, but it makes no difference

Ballina trawler harbour.

Deadline extended for NSW fishers buying back into the industry

Sex attacker slapped with strict supervision upon release

Violent sex offender's life after jail no walk in the park

Local Partners

Katie Holmes' empowering directorial debut

Katie Holmes

KATIE Holmes as made her directorial debut

Jennifer Lawrence gives keys to new partner

Oscar winner Jennifer Lawrence

Oscar winner settling down with new partner

Rogue One star proud to lead new Star Wars film

Felicity Jones leads the new Star Wars film

Star Wars lead proud to be in front in sci-fi

What's on the small screen this week

Ernie Dingo stars in the TV series Going Places with Ernie Dingo.

ERNIE Dingo stars in a new travel series and Seven airs the AACTAs.

Mandy Moore feels like she's 60

Mandy Moore sees herself as a 60-year-old rather than a 32-year-old

Goooodbye Hamish and Andy (from our radios)

Hamish and Andy

The pair have been on air since 2006

Chinese locked out of Australian property market

The rules are different if you're a foreigner

The buyer was from China - the trouble started right there

Morrison signs off on new affordable rental model

Australia's Treasurer Scott Morrison speaks during a press conference after a meeting of the Council of Federal Financial Relations at Parliament House in Canberra, Friday, Dec. 2, 2016.

Scott Morrison signed off on development of a new financing model

Coast high-flyer's fight back from bankruptcy, $72m debt

Scott Juniper went from millionaire developer to declaring bankruptcy in2012, now he is back on top of his game again with new developments including this one in Coolum.

'Apocalyptic lending storm' causes financial collapse.

How your home can earn you big $$$$ this Christmas

This luxury Twin Waters home rents out over Christmas for more than $6000 a week.

Home owners earning thousands renting out their homes this Christmas

2000 jobs at multi-million dollar Ipswich project

INSIDE: Artist's impressions of the interior of the new Eastern Heights aged care precinct.

Sub-contractors needed to build $15m aged care facility

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!