Endeavour Oyster Farm in picturesque Woolooware Bay in New South Wales, produces over one million oysters each year, selling directly to hungry locals and tourists alike.
Owners Bob and Therese Hill employ a small army of people to manage the delicate business of ensuring their microscopic oyster ‘babies’ are grown over two years into plump, juicy oysters, ready for the tables of Sydneysiders.
When recruiting for staff to help grow their business, Mr Hill said the right attitude and a willingness to get your hands dirty, is a prerequisite.
“When I’m looking for a new employee, I’m looking for somebody that’s happy being outside, and somebody that’s dextrous and capable with their hands,” Mr Hill said.
“MAX Solutions send us the right people, the ones that are prepared to be dirty, prepared to get wet and prepared to get in the water.”
In Sydney East Metro, around 18,000 people were looking for work in the three months to September 2019.
For two of those people, MAX customers Justin Knight, 19, and Joshua Hodgson, 36, they were the right people, in the right place at the right time.
Both were hired by Endeavour oyster farm the day after their interviews.
According to jobactive Placement Consultant, Natalie DeBattista, finding two great candidates for the business was an unexpected bonus.
”Not everyone is suited to working in an office or hospitality environment,” Ms DeBattista said.
“It’s great working with employers like Endeavour who give people like Joshua and Justin an opportunity to work on a farm and gain skills.
“Joshua was registered with us for just under eight months before he found employment.
“He found it difficult to find employment due to his location in Bundeena where public transport is not the best.
“When this role came through, Joshua was the first person I thought of.
“He previously worked as a deckhand with Cronulla Ferries, and he told me on numerous occasions that he loved working on the water!
“Josh had his interview with Bob and the next thing I knew, Josh started working there the next day!”
Ms DeBattista added the employer has praised Mr Hodgson for being an asset to their company.
“When I told Josh, he was so humble,” Ms DeBattista said.
“He is such a great fit for the employer because they have someone reliable, hardworking and loyal.”
His colleague, Justin Knight, also came to MAX at a difficult time in his life.
“Justin, being younger, had limited work experience and had completed a Certificate III in Concreting in Queensland,” Ms DeBattista said.
“He told me he’d worked for a company that did not treat him right and let him go for no reason other than asking questions.
“After hearing this I felt that it wasn’t right for him to have been treated that way and believed it was my job to find the right job for him.”
Ms DeBattista took him to meet the employer and they had a laid-back interview.
“On the way back from the interview, Justin felt the people were lovely and that it was a great Aussie atmosphere - and he was not afraid of getting his hands dirty,” she recalled.
“He really enjoys the role and is happy about earning his own money and helping to support his mother and new young brother.
“He is a hard worker and with an employer such as Bob, he will learn not just how to farm oysters, but gain essential life skills on his employment journey.”