Young workers have a poor work ethic and expect to be paid well despite being unprepared to do menial work. That is the opinion of Sue Daubney, managing director of Bannister Downs Dairy, which has been backed by Gina Reinhardt.
It’s a sentiment one might expect Reinhardt to agree with, given her own very public spats with her children over money.
The difficulty of recruiting labour in the agricultural sector has pushed Daubney to go on the offensive, warning that Australia faces a “workforce culture” problem among younger generations. It was their reluctance to work that has led the sector to recruit more foreign and migrant workers on 457 visas, she says.
Daubney’s comments follow a survey by the Department of Employment that found more than one third of employers were unhappy with the attitudes of their young staff. Among the complaints were that young people often turned up to work looking untidy and with inappropriate body art, had a poor work ethic and unrealistic expectations about pay. Few showed any interest in learning or displayed enthusiasm about the job.
Criticisms of young people are set against a backdrop of rising unemployment figures revealed this month by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Western Australia and Queensland where the agriculture sector looms large are suffering the largest increases in job losses.