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  • Writer's pictureJack Ward

Students to fill staffing gap at AME

Published in The Ararat Advocate, Ararat's weekly newspaper published by West Vic News Pty Ltd.

AME Systems will hire around 20 students from Ararat’s two secondary schools to fill an employment gap during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The manufacturer will continue relatively unaffected during regional Victoria’s stage 3 restrictions and Melbourne’s stage 4, but the organisation hasn’t been able to employ an adequate number of staff.

PHOTO: AME Systems (Jack Ward/Ararat Advocate)

COVID-19 related travel bans mean staff are unable to travel between AME’s two locations in Ararat and Melbourne, which has had an effect on staffing numbers.

Acting Managing Director Dean Pinniger said because they employ quite a large number of people, it’s difficult to hire staff out of Melbourne at the moment and they aren’t getting enough applicants locally.

“We've still got a few staff to employ to get the numbers we want, so we are partnering up with Ararat College and Marian College for a reasonably sized group, approximately 20 students, to begin a Work Experience Program which would see them working some nights after school,” he said.

“We believe it would be a community win-win. The students will get some work experience with AME and we, in turn, get a bit of labour which we will utilize to fill the gap that we've got at the moment.”

The group of students will undertake factory-based work, assembling AME’s products on the factory floor.

Chosen students will have an induction similar to what normal recruits go through late next week and then the group will begin to work after school hours.

“We're advertising locally as well but we're just not getting the numbers that we need,” Mr Pinniger said.

“The students will work a couple of hours a day whereas a full-time person would be working eight hours a day. So it sort of balances out, we need a few more students to make up the hours.”

AME is planning to run the program in the short term whilst restrictions are affecting staff numbers but Mr Pinniger said if it’s something that works for all parties, the partnership could well continue into the future.

“We'll just review it on a fortnightly basis... so that we can determine if it's right for the students and if it’s right for the business.”

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