Award win­ning part­ner­ship

Southern Riverina news - - NEWS -

The Rive­rina In­sti­tute of TAFE has been re­warded for its ef­forts in the resur­gence of the rice in­dus­try in the re­gion.

A joint project it de­vel­oped in con­junc­tion with Sun­Rice to re­build the work­force at re­gional rice mills won a bronze award in the 2012 TAFE NSW In­no­va­tion and Ex­cel­lence Show­case this month.

The col­lab­o­ra­tive project be­tween TAFE NSW Rive­rina In­sti­tute and Sun­Rice, called ‘Rise of the Phoenix - Sun­Rice Re­born’, was pre­sented with the 2012 bronze award in the part­ner­ship cat­e­gory.

Project co­or­di­na­tor Shan­dra Simp­son said it was thrilling to be re­warded for a project which started two years ago.

‘‘It’s fan­tas­tic to be recog­nised for this train­ing jour­ney taken by Sun­Rice and Rive­rina In­sti­tute from an empty mill site to a boom­ing pro­duc­tion site that is now milling all the rice in the De­niliquin re­gion,’’ she said.

The two or­gan­i­sa­tions came to­gether in 2010 to re­build the dec­i­mated work­force fol­low­ing the drought.

In late 2007, Sun­Rice an­nounced the clo­sure of its De­niliquin and Coleam­bally Mills.

The pro­longed ef­fects of this drought and the lack of suf­fi­cient rice to sus­tain the milling op­er­a­tions forced the clo­sure.

‘‘But in 2009 the drought fi­nally broke; dams filled, wa­ter al­lo­ca­tions in­creased and rice plant­ings grew throughout the dis­trict,’’ Mrs Simp­son said.

‘‘In Novem­ber 2010, Sun­Rice an­nounced it was re­open­ing the Sun­Rice De­niliquin Pro­duc­tion Mill with milling to be­gin in April 2011.

‘‘This pre­sented a new chal­lenge as the re­main­ing five em­ploy­ees at the De­niliquin Mill were care­tak­ers and could not per­form all the tech­ni­cal roles of the pre­vi­ous 80 strong work­force.

‘‘At the same time, the Sun­Rice Lee­ton Mill was un­der­staffed as it was also be­gin­ning to gear up for the best har­vest in 10 years.’’

Since most of the skilled work­force had left the re­gion, Mrs Simp­son said Sun­Rice ur­gently needed a strat­egy to re­cruit new skilled em­ploy­ees from fur­ther afield to be able to meet the open­ing dead­line.

Ini­tial dis­cus­sions be­gan with Sun­Rice, State Train­ing Ser­vices, Job Net­work Providers and TAFE NSW Rive­rina In­sti­tute.

Mrs Simp­son said the first train­ing be­gan in Jan­uary 2011 as a two week block face to face, with core com­pe­tence in food pro­cess­ing.

This train­ing com­bined TAFE staff and tech­ni­cal ex­perts from Sun­Rice, funded by State Train­ing Ser­vices.

The De­niliquin Mill now em­ploys close to 120 skilled staff in­clud­ing millers, pack­ing line op­er­a­tors, elec­tri­cal and me­chan­i­cal main­tain­ers and lo­gis­tics per­son­nel, as well as as­so­ci­ated sup­port roles.

Lee­ton TAFE busi­ness de­vel­op­ment man­ager Jac­qui Walsh, Train­ing Co­or­di­na­tor for TAFE at Sun­Rice Daph Tyn­dall, Sun­Rice peo­ple and cul­ture man­ager Sharon Bloom­field, TAFE busi­ness de­vel­op­ment man­ager Shan­dra Simp­son and Rive­rina In­sti­tute di­rec­tor Kerry...

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.