South Central Trucks General Manager Bill has assembled a workforce that resembles the United Nations.
His company, which sells and services trucks including Volvos and Macks, now employs 68 people in the workshop of which around 15 per cent are migrant workers from countries including India, the Philippines, the United Kingdom, and Poland.
Bill said businesses like his are finding it harder and harder to find skilled employees in Australia. In order to maintain growth his business looks to the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) to access the skilled labour it needs.
The RSMS enables Australian employers to fill skilled, full-time positions with skilled people from overseas. The scheme is only available in South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.
"We run a company that services commercial trucks and as those trucks represent someone’s business, clients can’t afford to wait around for days while you find the staff to work on the problem.
The RSMS has enabled us to provide better service to our customers. If a customer needs something – however big or small – we can fit them in immediately because we have the staff to do it. It’s a defining feature of our company and it’s been very successful."
Bill provides support to those joining the company on the RSMS by reimbursing the visa costs, assisting in finding accommodation and providing a relocation allowance.
"We have a harmonious workplace and a very low attrition rate. By trial and error we now know what works in the business and what to look for when we recruit our mechanics. We'll continue to use the RSMS because we want long-term employees with specialised, relevant skills."