Business: Three Rivers Machinery, Warren

Three Rivers Machinery (3RM) is a family-owned and operated agricultural machinery dealership based in Warren. They are the local dealer for a range of equipment to meet farm machinery needs, including combines, tractors, spreaders, and speedtillers. Clientele mainly come from an agricultural background.

The company’s decision to appoint two migrant workers from the Philippines to join the company as service technicians stemmed from difficulties maintaining employees on a long-term basis and the need for employee sustainability in order to deliver consistent service. Investment in training and upskilling apprentices and new employees is often made by businesses. However, in many instances the apprentice or new technician does not remain with the company long enough for them to see a return on their training investment. It was reported in the Deloitte 2018 millennial survey that 43 per cent of millennials and 61 per cent of Gen Z will not stay in a job for longer than two years.

This also impacts on the consistency of service delivered to customers.  The company had also struggled to compete with large-scale mining and other machinery dealerships.

To overcome this issue, 3RM sought advice from local businesses who had succeeded in the area of hiring migrants. There was a genuine need to ensure continued employment over a sustained period of time so that quality of service remained at a high quality standard.

Since the appointment of Richard (pictured) and Aldwin, there has been a vast improvement in the 3RM service department due to increased efficiency. Productivity is second to none and the Filipino attitude to work cannot be faulted. The employees appreciate the opportunity to come to work and it’s reflected in their attitude and focus whilst they are at work. 

Both employees have been able to bring their families to Australia, they are involved in the local community, shop locally and educate their children at the local school.  The township has also been very welcoming and accepting.

While it took 12 months to recruit them, the lesson that has been learnt is that patience pays off. 

The advice of Three Rivers Machinery to other businesses planning to hire migrant employees is to be innovative, allow for change and be patient. It takes time for migrant workers to learn the Australian culture, and time needs to be invested in basic training plans and tasks being shown properly.

Slow down communication and be mindful of cultural needs and promote acceptance within the workplace and community. 3RM is appreciative of what they bring to the business and they appreciate the opportunity given to them and their family. 

3RM now has good qualified technicians who are well trained in their field and grateful for the opportunities that have been given to them.