Varley develops a new solution to answer Sydney’s Manufacturing crisis in hiring workers

Many manufacturing companies in Sydney have been feeling the pinch when looking for interested and skilled workers to fill various roles. Varley’s Yennora site has not been an exception in that category when putting out the search. 

 “The usual method of advertising the positions on job sites, posting on social media and on the company website in recent times has proven to be a struggle in obtaining candidates for our Yennora site” explains Jan Dobbie, Varley’s HR Manager

 After exhausting the usual avenues Jan set out to create a new immediate solution to find the employees that were needed. The strategy was, if she can’t hire them then training them into different roles was an option.  This concept took flight when TAFE NSW and job agencies, Workskil and SSI (Settlement Services International) jumped onboard.

 The final program consisted of 1 full week and one day a week for 3 more weeks in addition to the TAFE tuition of four units from their Auto manufacturing package. The hands on experience of 3 days over three weeks saw the participants practicing the skills they learnt. The subject units studied was safety, tools, engineering drawings and quality. All classes and job experience was conducted onsite at the Varley Yennora site. This enabled Varley to see how the prospective employees adapted to the Varley culture while they worked as a team and demonstrated their agility.

 Varley’s employment program solution has been a success in securing 7 candidates on the program with 6 being offered full-time employment in the stores and production roles. Each new employee was provided with a basic toolkit by the job active agency. The program participants’ ages ranged from 21 years of age up to 60 years of age coming from a of mix of Australian and International backgrounds.

 Although this initial program was only an immediate solution to employ workers; this has been used as a case study with future plans to work the program through schools and TAFE to benefit all manufacturing companies in the Cumberland (western Sydney) area.


“Getting this program set up took a lot of effort. We had support from the Commonwealth Dept. of Jobs and Small Business, Training Services NSW, TAFE NSW and numerous service providers. We had a few anxious moments but as we neared the end of the 4-week program, the results have exceeded our expectations. It is a great result for us, for the referrers and of course for the participants who have worked really hard to earn a spot with us.” explains Jan Dobbie, Varley HR Manager


“It has proven to be a great way to find employees where we have previously struggled to get people in the door.” said Jarrod Riley, Varley Supervisor

 “The Varley program has created key opportunity in the manufacturing industry and job opportunities for our job seekers.” expressed Penny Evans, WorkSkil


“If you are going to do a program like this, be prepared to learn something new.” said Dirk Reinke, participant and new Varley employee


“The program was great, fast paced, great quality with end products that are brilliant.” said Adam Hall, participant and new Varley employee


“The program is definitely worth it. You learn a large variety.” said John Hoy, participant and new Varley employee.