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ERIC Number: ED513955
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 45
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 46
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-9218-0927-9
Work, Skills and Training in the Australian Red Meat Processing Sector. A National Vocational Education and Training Research and Evaluation Program Report
Norton, Kent; Rafferty, Mike
National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER)
Work practices in the meat-processing industry have changed in recent years. The industry has moved away from workers dressing a whole carcass towards a chain-based system, with each worker performing a single task along a moving production line. The nature of the meat-processing workforce has also changed. It is no longer dominated by seasonal but longer-term workers, usually white and male. It is now diverse and often characterised by workers with low levels of post-secondary education and literacy. Significant pools of labour are temporary (417 visa holders, backpackers and grey nomads), contributing to high levels of staff turnover. This report investigates what these significant changes have meant for training in the industry. Key messages of this report include: (1) Training systems have been adapted to accommodate the new work systems, with training now oriented to on-the-job induction and learning of single tasks; (2) The case studies demonstrated the importance of quality supervision and the building of a safe and supportive culture in the workplace. Improved supervisor training, as well as practices that support workers as teams and individuals, result in safer and less stressful places to work; (3) The training systems accommodate rather than prevent the high rates of labour turnover in the sector. The meat-processing industry employs many workers who are entering or re-entering the paid labour force, and many of these workers move onto other areas of the paid labour market. This report arises from the second year of a three-year program of research on training and workforce development in industries which are characterised as low-skill entry points to the labour market. Appendices include: (1) Institutional structure of meat-processing sector; and (2) The ownership structure and business model used at each case study site. (Contains 1 table and 3 footnotes.)
National Centre for Vocational Education Research Ltd. P.O. Box 8288, Stational Arcade, Adelaide, SA 5000, Australia. Tel: +61-8-230-8400; Fax: +61-8-212-3436; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
Authoring Institution: National Centre for Vocational Education Research
Identifiers - Location: Australia