Catching Up With Kurt – Adrian Baker
Kurt: Hello everyone, thanks for joining Catching Up With Kurt. I’m Kurt Gidley and today we’re joined by Queensland General Manager, Adrian Baker. Welcome along, mate. You’re a former blue collar worker. Tell us your experience there and how you ended up in recruitment labour hire.
Adrian: I actually really enjoyed my time as a fitter, working for a lot of clients in predominately the north-west and west coast of Tasmania. I guess I found myself, towards the end of my time as a tradie, doing a lot of shift work. So I was really looking for an opportunity for work-life balance and starting a young family and things like that. I guess I really fell into recruitment, just starting on some of my days off, which then led into a full time role as a trade recruiter in Tassie.
Kurt: How did the transition go to Protech then?
Adrian: There was a lot of alignment from where I worked in the past and I had an introduction to Marc Meili who was very passionate about the purpose of the company to be a positive influence in people’s lives. So after quite a lengthy conversation on the phone I could really see the passion and what drove his business, and also all the passion around the decisions that the company made around being a positive influence. I really bought into that and felt that I could be part of that. A couple of weeks later I was employed by the company.
Kurt: What’s a good example of you being a positive influence in a field candidate’s life?
Adrian: The real rewarding stuff is where we give someone an opportunity that they may not have had. So whether that’s working with a client or working through a solution or project – that might be Indigenous employment or women in non-traditional roles. Also rewarding is when you get through the back-end of a work-ready program and really see a group of people move into full-time employment and opportunities to support their families; move on a journey and a career that they wouldn’t have had if we didn’t have that conversation initially with our client.
Kurt: It’s a pretty fulfilling role we’re playing in their lives.
Kurt: Can you give us an example of how Protech have partnered with one of our clients to be a positive influence in people’s lives?
Adrian: A really good example of that is probably 3/3.5 years ago. Protech sat down with one of our client partners CR2SM, which is a joint venture between Seymour Whyte and Fulton Hogan, to work through some requirements of the project, which was around Indigenous engagement. Through that conversation we created a work-ready program which invited 15 Indigenous guys and girls to be part of a month-long training program on site. At the back-end of that program all of those candidates had the opportunity to be interviewed for ongoing roles and traineeships. The real positive influence out of that was that 12 out of the 15 ended up going onto ongoing employment. To see people given that opportunity, to make a change in their life, to see a couple of those trainees to end up with training awards with different organisations; I think that was a proud moment for Protech to be a part of that.
Kurt: Thanks very much for your time and thanks for catching up with Kurt. Good stuff.