The ongoing Covid-19 lockdowns won’t stand in the way of the next generation of meat industry professionals finding their dream job, with the return on August 10 2021 of the ICMJ Virtual Careers Fair.
The Intercollegiate Meat Judging Association (ICMJ) launched the online event last year after Covid forced the cancellation of its trade expos in Wagga and Rockhampton, which have traditionally been happy hunting grounds for red meat businesses looking to recruit the best and brightest university graduates.
The Virtual Careers Fair was such a success it will now become a fixture on the ICMJ calendar of events, after 87 students and 31 businesses participated in the inaugural 2020 event.
Kilcoy Global Foods found all five of its recruits for its Future Leaders graduate program at the event, including University of Sydney graduate Rhys Webber, who said the Careers Fair Plus video conferencing app provided the perfect platform for holding meaningful discussions with recruiters.
“I thought the online format was amazing because you get to book in time with different companies and have a one-on-one conversation for five to 10 minutes, which in many ways is better than the face-to-face events,” Mr Webber said.
“I found I could extract the information I needed from the recruiters rather than compete with people for their time and attention.”
ICMJ is a not-for-profit association which aims to inspire and develop young meat industry participants, and give the Australian meat industry the expertise needed to compete internationally.
For Mr Webber, who hails from a beef cattle stud in Denman, NSW, the online meetings with recruiters allowed him to learn about each company and what they offered as part of their graduate programs, and discuss how their business needs aligned with his skills.
“To be accepted into the Future Leaders graduate program at Kilcoy Global Foods has been extremely rewarding and I’ve learnt an incredible amount about the red-meat industry,” he said.
“I’ve grown up experiencing the pastoral end of the supply chain and am now learning the primary processing side. As part of our rotations, I’m currently working in a sales role within our Protein Solutions division, focusing on supplying a variety of value-added products to a diverse range of domestic and export customers.”
ICMJ National President Peter McGilchrist said the event was also an opportunity for agribusinesses to sell themselves as an employer of choice to the best and brightest graduates entering the agricultural job market.
“It’s a job seeker’s market at the moment and the feedback we’ve had is that the ICMJ Virtual Careers Fair definitely helps companies sell themselves to the students before they graduate,” Dr McGilchrist said.
“There are currently so many jobs available in Australian agriculture that companies need to use events like this to ensure they can recruit the best people and stay ahead of their competitors.”
Companies and job seekers can register to participate at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2021virtualcareersexpo