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O’Connors focus investment in their local communities



Posted by Mim Monkivitch, 06th June 2017

With over 150 employees at six branches in three states, O’Connors has a strong focus on building the local community.

  • Dealer: O’Connors
  • Established: 1964
  • Branches: VIC – Birchip, Horsham, Shepparton, Warracknabeal; SA – Bordertown; NSW – Corowa
  • Specialise in: Agricultural machinery, parts, service and precision farming equipment.

Over the past 10 years as rural communities have seen a decline in population, O’Connors chose to face the challenge head-on by investing strongly in training and apprenticeship programs. These initiatives bring talented people into both the business and the regions they operate in.

Two years ago O’Connors decided to reinvigorate their apprenticeship and internal training programs. Building the regional talent pool and retaining skilled staff in the company is the main focus. Their approach includes:

  • Career awareness program – O’Connors visit local high schools to let students and career advisers know that plenty of opportunity exists in local machinery dealerships. It also highlights the varied skill-sets that are required.
  • School-based training – high school groups have a tour of an O’Connors dealership and some of the students go on to complete school-based training programs. This program can lead to apprenticeships within the business.
  • Partnership with group training organisations – this enables O’Connors better access to talent pools and builds a reputation within the TAFE communities.
  • Internal management training – in 2016 O’Connors worked with Swinburne University to develop a specialised and intensive six month management course for their staff of which 11 people participated in and successfully completed.

These initiatives support O’Connors’ business values of trust, reliability and service; at the same time actively bringing people back into the industry and into regional Australia, and keeping them here.