While the cost-of-living crisis is hitting many people hard, several local businesses are still finding it hard to attract new workers.
Matt Chesterfield who owns and manages Matty Town and Rural Contracting, and who featured in the Truth several months ago, said since the article appeared he had been inundated with new business and was finding it challenging to find enough staff.
“We are now ready to expand to hire a reliable offsider manager, and people who can be left by themselves to complete jobs with a business vehicle and equipment,” Mr Chesterfield said.
With more than 20 monthly gardening jobs for the business, in addition to various handyman jobs, it’s clear, says Mr Cherstefield, “that even though times are getting tough, people are still spending their money”.
The most significant contract Mr Chesterfield holds at the moment is for a client who is preparing houses-for-rent in Broken Hill to help address the local housing shortage.
“This job includes internal and external work, such as yard work, patchwork to concrete walls, installing carpet, cleaning kitchen cabinets, and cleaning paint off tiles,” Mr Chesterfield says.
“The problem is there is a shortage of labourers at the moment, I am struggling to find reliable workers, people who want to rock up on time everyday, people that communicate, and those who actually want to work, they are hard to find.”
Citing the issue as long-term in the industry, Mr Chesterfield is now chasing up another potentially significant contract, but fears the lack of staff might make the contract impossible to fulfill.
“I’ve noticed some other businesses have had major problems with staff shortages, it’s going to be a never-ending problem, and it’s hard for business owners because they are a reflection of their staff, and so if there are staff issues, it impacts business owners big time.”
Because of this issue, Mr Chesterfield has pleaded with his customers, as well as customers of other contracting and handyman businesses, to be patient while the local industry addresses the staffing crisis.
“I book customers in when I can, and I provide a guaranteed time for work, but it might be split into a couple of days here and there just to get the job done.”
Mr Chesterfield is now urging those who are looking for work as a contractor, or as a manager of his business, to contact him on 0474 635 971, so he can get to work clearing the backlog of jobs in his diary.