HOLLA-FRESH at Tantanoola have achieved an even balance between migrant and local workers, emerging as a positive case study as to how new arrivals can settle into regional Australia.
Holla-Fresh proprietor Ian Lines, who runs the business with his wife Sue and two of his children, said he would “highly recommend” employing migrants to fill any workforce shortages.
“We have good people out here working for us anyway and the migrant workers fit in to our culture of being honest and hardworking,” he said.
“They have the same level of experience and professionalism as our other workers and with a third of our workers being migrants, it’s a good fit.”
The majority of migrant workers at Holla-Fresh are Karen and were employed by the Lines family through an employment contractor in Mount Gambier.
Holla-Fresh’s success in incorporating migrant workers into their company culture follows the launch of the Steps to Settlement Success, a toolkit designed to help businesses, organisations and local government embrace migrants in regional communities.
Within the online toolkit Mount Gambier is used as a case study because of its selection as a Federal Government-supported regional settlement pilot location over the past decade.
A push to get more migrant workers in regional South Australian towns also happened in March with Premier Steven Marshall signing a Designated Area Migration Agreement.
The State and Federal Government collaboration focuses bringing new arrivals to rural areas in order to help fill skills shortages.
“I would advise though that you have to have your migrants suit your business,” Mr Lines said.
“Many of the Karens we have here at Holla-Fresh enjoy this type of work, but they would not be keen on building or working on farms for example.
“Having the right migrant workers for the type of work you are doing is absolutely critical.
“That is how you become a success story.”