In Partnership with the City of Murraylands and Thomas Foods International, the Australian Migrant Resource Centre (AMRC) is piloting a work entry project. 23 job seekers from Syrian, Afghan and Burmese backgrounds attended a tour of Murray Bridge Thomas Foods.
AMRC Works Manager, Prue Hemming, explained the purpose of the tour. “We wanted to introduce 16 new arrival families to jobs in the town of Murray Bridge and for most, this was their first time travelling to rural South Australia,” she said.
Murray Bridge MRC Manager, Heather Muirhead, added that gaining stable employment plays a vital role in the successful resettlement of refugees. “The knowledge new arrivals have about Australian workplace practices is limited,” she said.
“Participants were able to learn about how the food processing company operates and what jobs occur during the different stages of production.
“Although providing them with verbal information is important, the opportunity to experience the working environment including an understanding of their industrial rights and obligations is essential.
“They were also able to see the diversity of staff that Thomas Foods employs.”
Families met with the Mayor of Murray Bridge, Mr Brendan Lewis, who welcomed them to the area, while enjoying a picnic beside the river.
The tour was received positively by attendees with many expressing that: “Murray Bridge is a good place to live for my family” and “I worked in meat processing in Syria, so I can do this work very well. It’s a good opportunity for me and my family.”
Families considering settlement in the area will now apply for work at Thomas Foods to obtain a permanent position. Murray Bridge MRC will support the successful families to settle in the region as they gain employment.