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Workforce retention and training in meat processing plants

The Workforce retention project has been underway since mid 2004. The project sought to initially research and investigate the possible causes of high turnover and then to develop tools and resources to allow processing companies in the meat industry to improve their retention rates and to lower absenteeism.

Julie McQueen was the first project officer involved in this project, however approximately halfway through the two-year project Sharon Fitzgerald and Jenny Kroonstuiver took on the project management role.

During the first year of the project some valuable research data was developed, including a literature review, which was made available to industry and identified the possible causes of turnover, particularly in the meat industry; there was also an analysis of high- and low-turnover companies, and research into how shut-down periods impacted upon retention levels once companies resumed normal working production levels.

Employees’ entry to an organisation was a big part of the project. Significant information was sought to determine the necessary skills and attributes needed by supervisors in processing plants, when dealing with new recruits, and a new unit was included in the meat industry Training Package, Supervise new recruits. Along with the unit of competency training materials were developed to support training in the unit and were trialled with several companies to ensure they were effective.

Induction training was also an area of interest. A generic induction program was developed to be turned into a product for the entire industry.

Traineeships in the industry were also researched, with a particular focus on finding out what trainees themselves had to say about their training and how they might be better supported. An updated version of the traineeship induction kit was then produced for evaluation and trial, and to complement the materials a new page was added to the MINTRAC website.

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Title Size Date published
103.3KB 01/05/2011

This page was last updated on 24/07/2017

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