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Factory worker gets a huge promotion after her boss discovers she has a double masters degree

A migrant factory worker has climbed the ranks after her boss discovered she had untapped tertiary qualifications. 

Manu Kaur, 30, moved from India in 2015 to complete a second masters degree in information technology at Melbourne‘s La Trobe University, hoping to secure a role in her field.

But after finishing two years later, she copped more than a dozen rejected job applications.  

‘I felt very bad and depressed,’ Ms Kaur told Daily Mail Australia. 

Manu Kaur, 30, (pictured) struggled to find employment in her field despite holding a double masters degree in information technology

Manu Kaur, 30, (pictured) struggled to find employment in her field despite holding a double masters degree in information technology

‘I did everything employers would want, but they told me it wasn’t enough. I thought “What should I do now? If you are not giving me the job, then how can I get experience?” 

Disheartened, Ms Kaur moved to Tasmania last year and resigned to picking up a job as a factory worker at Blueline Laundry, which washes up to 50,000 items daily for hotels, hospitals and nursing homes across the state.   

Her luck changed last month when her boss uncovered her skills during a lunchtime chat. 

‘I’m working now as the systems coordinator, to maintain the systems, data protection and I’m maintaining all documentation for them,’ she said.

‘I’m also setting up computers and providing technical support. 

‘Now I am using my skills so I feel confident with my skills and within the company.’ 

The non-for-profit organisation’s has a focus on creating meaningful employment opportunities, with 30 per cent of its workforce comprising of people with a disability while another 20 per cent come from culturally diverse backgrounds. 

As the pandemic hit, the commercial laundries, which operate in Hobart and Launceston, saw a drastic downturn losing 83 per cent of their customer base as restrictions shut down industries.  

Blueline Laundry CEO Michael Sylvester (pictured) tasked senior leadership teams with discovering untapped potential among workers in a bid to survive the COVID-19 induced downturn

Blueline Laundry CEO Michael Sylvester (pictured) tasked senior leadership teams with discovering untapped potential among workers in a bid to survive the COVID-19 induced downturn

In a bid to survive, CEO Michael Sylvester quickly sought to remodel the company,  tasking the senior leadership team with unearthing any potential among its casual factory workers. 

‘Just in Hobart alone, across 25 culturally diverse workers, we found 31 bachelors degrees or higher. Most staff had masters degrees,’ Mr Sylvester said.  

‘One of the wastes in business is unused creativity and COVID was a real opportunity to look for innovation. 

‘The workplace innovation comes from the creativity of our people. So we took the opportunity to look within our staff to discover what skills were sitting around.’

‘We probably have more accountants here than H and R block.’ 

The process enabled the company to fill key roles which had previously been outsourced. 

Pramila KC Maharjan, 28, who holds a pharmacy degree from Nepal and IT masters from the University of Tasmania, stepped forward after hearing about the restructuring. 

Pramila KC Maharjan, 28, (pictured) is now a Linen Quality Resource Development Officer after starting out as a laundry hand last year

Pramila KC Maharjan, 28, (pictured) is now a Linen Quality Resource Development Officer after starting out as a laundry hand last year

Having started as a laundry hand last November, she is now using her skills as Blueline’s Linen Quality Resource Development Officer and has obtained an IT internship with the company.

‘I am working to design and set up specifications for linen and I will soon be incorporating all of the company’s data into a unified system.’

‘It is really satisfying. The opportunity was really unexpected.’ 

‘I had applied for IT jobs but I didn’t get any response, no feed back, nothing. It was so frustrating.’ 

‘I did not expect this much difficulty when I was back home.’

‘It has been really amazing that Blueline recognise us for all our skills and knowledge.’   

The company discovered 25 of its workers at Hobart had 31  untapped degrees. Pictured: The sewing department

The company discovered 25 of its workers at Hobart had 31  untapped degrees. Pictured: The sewing department

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