Physio says 42 of 76 job applicants admit Centrelink motive
FOR Ben Heidenreich promoting the region's health and growing a local workforce is something he is committed to at his business Coral Coast Physiotherapy and Sports Injury Clinic.
In light of the NewsMail's Future Bundaberg initiative to champion a "Grow Our Own” mentality within the Bundaberg business sector, Mr Heidenreich has shared his journey and commitment to the cause.
Opening in 2012, Mr Heidenreich has grown his business's services and team.
With eight local staff working at Coral Coast Physio, Mr Heidenreich said they have been able to "Grow their Own” with two of their physiotherapist being local people that were schooled in the area, commenced physiotherapy training at the local university and were employed as physiotherapy aides during their studies and then offered new graduate physiotherapy jobs on completion.
Mr Heidenreich also works as an academic tutor at CQUniversity for the physiotherapy program.
"A huge benefit of hiring local people is they are already familiar with the area and what is has to offer and close to their personal support networks,” he said.
"As with many professional jobs these days it is hard to get employees out of the big cities. For a number of years I was employing physios out of Brisbane that would only stay for a short period and then move on.
"So by being able to train and employ local people has been a huge advantage to my business.
"Their families and friends are here and they are looking to establish their own roots here with purchasing properties in a much more affordable area.”
He said areas like Bundaberg were unique in the lifestyle opportunities on offer with affordable living conditions, which is why it was important to facilitate learning and employment opportunities - to keep people here and grow the town.
For Mr Heidenreich, growing your own employees improves the chance of them to also stay long-term employees which is a win win for everyone.
Bundaberg is renowned for its poor employment statistics, and Mr Heidenreich said he felt improving the political stance on working for the dole programs would help these statistics.
"Unfortunately there are too many people in the region, that just don't want to work because it is too easy being on welfare,” he said.
"Recently I advertised for a receptionist position and of the 76 applications, 42 openly told me they were just applying to keep Centrelink happy.
"The remainder were obviously legitimate applications and genuine people looking for work but when more than half are 'ticking the box' it is obviously too easy.
"I talk to a lot of business owners and there is a lot of work out there if the individuals are willing to put themselves out there.”
He said there was plenty of organisations helping people to improve their work skills.
"I remember as a child growing up in Bundy everyone had jobs and if you didn't you worked on farms and talking with local farmers these days, they can't find enough suitable people,” he said.
"So I feel this is a political area as the work is out there and the employment agencies are in place.”