GOOD FIT: Withcott Seedlings CEO Mike Hindle (left) employs forklift operator Anthony Betts (right).
GOOD FIT: Withcott Seedlings CEO Mike Hindle (left) employs forklift operator Anthony Betts (right). Contributed

Disabled workers a perfect fit for ag business

EVERYBODY has a role to play.

That's the message for this year's Disability Action Week, which runs from September 10-16.

Withcott Seedlings CEO Mike Hindle, who currently employs seven workers with a disability through the Endeavour Foundation, has found this out first hand.

But for Mr Hindle, it is not just about getting these workers into a role that suits them, it has allowed him to find many loyal and reliable employees to the benefit of his business.

He has used Endeavour for the past four years and has had up to 30 workers from their stocks at one point in time.

The majority of them work in the hygiene area of the business, washing trays that have been returned from customers in order to get them ready for re-use in the nursery.

"They're fantastic, they're just great guys and they really love their work and they look forward to it every day,” Mr Hindle said.

"Most of the guys we have here have been there right from the get go.”

Mr Hindle likes to tell the story of a situation that happens regularly on site.

If a truck rolls in during lunch or smoko, loaded up with a new set of trays ready for cleaning, his Endeavour employees won't check their watches to make sure they've used up every minute of their designated break before getting back to work.

Instead, it is not uncommon to hear them cheer with excitement and eagerly return to the job at hand.

"They're always ready to go... they're a pleasure to work with,” he said.

"Their demeanour is one of happiness all the time.”

Mr Hindle encouraged other employers in the agriculture industry to follow in his footsteps.

"They do exactly what you tell them to do and continue to do that until you tell them to do something different,” he said.

"They're consistent and reliable, which are really good traits for any worker really.

"To get them involved in that constant, repetitive work is what they really like.

" I recommend it to any employer, even just to give them a chance.”


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