Careers and traineeships Traineeships FAQ's

MINTRAC is a company which represents the industry on training matters. MINTRAC's role is to improve the skills of workers in the industry through the provision of recognised and accredited training from entry level through to senior management. MINTRAC provides services to the red meat, pork and game meat industries.

MINTRAC services four sectors of the meat industry, wild game harvesting, processing (abattoirs and boning rooms), smallgoods and meat retailing.

MINTRAC works with the industry to provide the following services:

  • the development and review of national qualifications and training framework
  • the development and review of the Australian Meat Industry Training Package
  • the development of training and assessment materials to support the Australian Meat Industry Training Package
  • the implementation of training in the industry
  • the representation of meat industry training interests at a State and Federal level

Meat processors, smallgoods manufacturers, game harvesters and meat retailers are able to utilise the following services:

  • on-site briefings for staff and management on the introduction of structured training programs
  • assistance with the development of a training plan and budget
  • advice on the introduction of a traineeship program
  • assistance with negotiations with:
    • State Training Authorities
    • DEEWR
    • AgriFood Skills Australia
    • Registered Training Organisations
    • Australian Apprenticeship Centres
  • assistance with applications to become a Registered Training Organisation
  • assistance to access funding for training activities
  • provision of support materials to meat companies.

MINTRAC employs nine staff members: an Executive Officer, a Senior Project Officer, three Project Officers, two Office Managers, Training and Product Administrator and an Administration Assistant. For more information about the roles and responsibilities of each of these people click here

MINTRAC is not a Registered Training Organisation (RTO), and therefore does not directly deliver accredited training courses. However, MINTRAC frequently works in partnership with RTOs to facilitate the delivery of high priority training, or to introduce new models of delivery or resources.

Companies or individuals seeking to undertake accredited training in the national meat industry qualifications will need to go to an RTO. MINTRAC can provide information about RTOs who are licensed to provide training for the Meat industry.

RTOs may access a wide range of support services from MINTRAC including:

  • advice on industry models for the delivery and assessment of the meat processing qualifications and skill sets
  • assistance with negotiations with meat companies and the implementation of training
  • training and assessment materials to support the delivery and assessment of the meat processing qualifications and skill sets
  • information on State and Federal Government funding and incentives for employers and RTOs
  • support and advice in their negotiations with the State Training Authorities
  • provision of workshops and support for their trainers to discuss and resolve issues arising from the delivery and assessment of the meat processing qualifications and skill sets
  • referrals from employers who are interested in training.

Depending on the type of employment, Meat Safety Inspectors are required to complete the Certificate III in Meat Processing (Meat Safety) or the Certificate IV in Meat Processing (Meat Safety). Study to become a Meat Safety Inspector requires enrolment with a Registered Training Organisation which has the Meat Safety qualifications listed on its scope of delivery.

For advice on the appropriate qualification and available Registered Training Organisations, please ring MINTRAC on 1800 817 462.

Training to become a butcher requires enrolment as an apprentice in the Certificate III in Meat Processing (Retail Butcher). For information about butchery apprenticeships click here.

Most of the meat industry qualifications require on-the-job assessment, and so employment is essential in order for assessment to be undertaken.

However, some states offer pre-employment programs which prepare people for employment in the meat industry. It is also possible to take some units or part-qualifications before commencing employment. For more information about these options, call MINTRAC on 1800 817 462, or contact your nearest RTO.

MINTRAC can provide advice to AACs about:

  • the nature and coverage of the Australian Meat Industry Training Package
  • the availability of Registered Training Organisations
  • the preferred industry delivery models
  • the suitability of particular qualifications for particular plants, jobs and employees.

MINTRAC's funding comes from funded projects, fee-for-service activities and consultancy.

MINTRAC undertakes projects and research and development extension which are funded by the meat industry and has an extremely close relationship with the industry.

In addition MINTRAC undertakes a wide variety of projects, some of which are funded from Research and Development funds administered by Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) and matched dollar for dollar by AMPC. Other projects are wholly funded from a variety of sources, such as State and Federal education and training authorities, or targeted industry projects.

Fee-for-service activity includes industry professional development programs, product development and sales, e-learning customisation and consultancy.

Trainees

To undertake a traineeship you need to become employed by a company that employs trainees. Many meat processing companies have a policy of signing any new employee to a traineeship within the first three months of employment. To become a meat industry employee you may want to check job advertisements in local/regional/daily newspapers, or check the local yellow pages and contact employers, send a CV or resume to them and follow up by phone or in person.

A traineeship is a great way to start off your career. You have an opportunity to earn while you learn. It is possible to work in the industry without becoming a trainee, but trainees often have a better understanding of why they do what they do and how the industry operates. If you wanted to change companies, employers would look favourably on someone who has already had previous training. A qualification will add to your resume and give you an edge in the employment market.

Depending on the type of employment, Meat Safety Inspectors are required to complete the Certificate III Meat Processing (Meat Safety) or the Certificate IV Meat Processing (Meat Safety). QA Officers usually require a Certificate III Meat Processing (Quality Assurance) or Certificate IV Meat Processing (Quality Assurance). Study to become a Meat Safety Inspector or QA Officer requires enrolment with a Registered Training Organisation which has the Meat Safety or Quality Assurance qualifications listed on its scope of delivery.

To find out more it is a good idea to talk to a Meat Safety Inspector or a QA Officer in your plant and find out how they got to where they are today. Or you can talk to your Trainer or Human Resource Manager.

You should talk to your Supervisor or Human Resource manager first, or talk to anyone in a position of authority with whom you feel comfortable discussing problems. It would also be a good idea to put in writing any concerns you have with your training, so that there is a record. If nothing is done or the situation is not handled how you would like it to be you may need to go to someone higher in your organisation.

It is sometimes the case that other workers are hostile to trainees and they may think you are not working fast enough or keeping up. They may resent that you are taken off the floor for training sessions, or think you are lazy because you do not work as fast as them, and may act in a way that makes your time at work difficult.

This is NOT acceptable behaviour; even if the person is in a higher position than you they have no right to make you feel intimidated or uncomfortable. Your employer has a legal responsibility to make sure your workplace is free from bullying and harassment.

If you do have problems with other workers the following strategies might help.

  • Ignore them, it might be a one-off incident. But don't ignore the situation if you think it is serious, e.g., someone threatening to harm you.
  • If the behaviour continues ask them exactly what the problem is. If it is because you are too slow, or being 'lazy', remind the worker that they were new employees once too, and that it will take some time before you are able to keep up as well as them.
  • If you are not comfortable working with them, speak to your Supervisor and ask to be moved to another area.
  • Report all instances of bullying or harassment. Your employer may not know it is going on until you tell them about it. They will appreciate you making them aware of the problem. You can report incidents to:
    • your immediate supervisor
    • a mentor or buddy
    • Human Resource Manager
    • Safety Manager
    • Production/Operations Manager
    • Plant Manager
    • anyone you feel comfortable talking to.

At the end of your traineeship you will receive a certificate from the Registered Training Organisation which shows you have met all the requirements for that qualification. You will then be able to include this certificate in your resume. If there are positions available your employer may ask you to stay on in the organisation (this is usually the case), or you can approach other companies and look for employment elsewhere.

If you think you have met all the requirements and do not have your certificate you should approach your Trainer or Human Resource Manager.

Employers

A trained workforce is an asset to any organisation. Competitors can copy your company's technology and processes, but unless human cloning becomes possible they cannot copy your workforce!

Investing in training shows the organisation cares about its employees. External regulators and auditors are increasingly looking for evidence of employee training during audits. A company's training program and records of training can even be used as a defence if a company is subject to prosecution, for example over an OH&S incident.

Training means that employees have an idea of where they fit into the company and where the company fits in the industry. This may mean employees are more committed, have a better understanding of hygiene and sanitation, are safer, and more productive.

There are government incentives for employing trainees, these are different in each state. For more information regarding incentives you should visit the Australian Apprenticeships website.

Recent research conducted into Meat Industry traineeships has suggested that trainees may not complete for a variety of reasons. Trainees leave because the job may not have been what they expected, they weren't suited to the work, or they found employment elsewhere. These factors are usually out of the company's control.

However, of the trainees researched many felt that trainees were leaving because they were expected to do too much too soon, and felt that they hadn't been given much time to adjust. Trainees' also felt that other workers sometimes made life difficult for them and even intimidated them, making them more inclined to leave. These factors are controllable. See 'Strategies for supporting trainees' for ideas on how to reduce these problems.

No, a company does not have to offer employment to trainees once their traineeship is complete. However, it is usually the case that the trainee stays on in the organisation. Not many companies want to invest time and money into training their workers to have them leave and go to another company.

The Australian Apprenticeships Training Information Service website will direct you to a table showing all the available traineeships in the industry.

Things to consider when selecting an RTO include:

  • location of the RTO - are they close by? Will they be able to regularly visit the plant?
  • credentials - Are they registered and nationally recognised?
  • experience - have they trained in the industry before? Do they have industry-experienced Trainers?
  • support - will they provide ongoing support for your company and staff?

See also www.training.com.au for more information.

Yes. Customisation of training materials is encouraged. This makes the training relevant to the individual company or workplace. Materials should be customised and edited to take into account Standard Operating Practices, Work Instructions, State regulations and anything else that should be taken into account by the RTO.