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Airline staff redeployed to help transport and distribution industries

Airline staff stood down due to the current pandemic are being hired to help companies meet unprecedented demand.

Qantas and Jetstar announced last month that it was standing down 30,000 workers. Following the shut down of the aviation industry, Woolworths announced it was hiring 20,000 employees in short-term roles.

Glenn Redman, APG Workforce CEO, said the organisation is employing displaced workers, both skilled and unskilled, and redeploying them to short-term roles in booming industries including transport and distribution across regional and metropolitan areas in Australia.

“On the Gold Coast, in Northern NSW regional areas and in Victorian regional areas, we have placed airline flight and ground crew with a large dairy company and a national manufacturing company,” Glenn said.

“The companies, like so many in the food processing sector, are experiencing a large surge in demand as shoppers clear supermarket shelves. And that’s just the start of it.”

Glenn said it’s a huge logistics job to hire workers on a short-term basis and APG Workforce is facilitating the streamlined process to help transport & distribution, food retail, and manufacturing meet demand with new workers.

“This is the sort of work we do all the time. Before the COVID-19 crisis really hit we already had several hundred positions on our books in the food processing, farming, and manufacturing sectors,” he said.

“We regularly hire short-term workers and place them with our clients, but it’s ramped up in the past few weeks for us.”

During the COVID-19 crisis, the focus is firmly on placing skilled and unskilled workers in short-term roles to assist the labour market disruption.

“That’s a huge job and organisations like ours will work behind the scenes to help that happen quickly and efficiently,” Glenn said.

Brad Banducci, Woolworths Group CEO said last month that these are uncertain times for many industries and the retailer has an important role to play keeping Australians employed through this crisis.

Woolworths Group offered up to 5,000 short-term roles to Qantas Group employees taking leave without pay, including more than 1,500 in its distribution centres.

Woolworths Group is standing up similar streamlined application processes with the likes of Village Entertainment, Michael Hill Jewellers, Cotton On, Accor and Super Retail Group. It has made thousands of short-term roles available to employees from these businesses.

“We’re hopeful these businesses will bounce back strongly once this crisis passes, and we want to do our bit to help them – and their people – get through the short-term challenge,” Brad said.

“We’re confident the strong service skills and work ethic of candidates from these businesses will be highly transferable to Woolworths.”

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