BajAIR supplies refrigeration vehicles and trucks to Big Michael's Fruit and Vegetables.
BajAIR supplies refrigeration vehicles and trucks to Big Michael's Fruit and Vegetables.

‘Not one response’: Owner’s fury as job ads go unanswered

A transport business veteran run off his feet with work has been unable to find new staff despite Queensland's unemployment rate topping 7.5 per cent.

BajAIR owner Brett Johnson, whose company builds refrigerated transport vehicles, has recorded a significant increase in work due to the Federal Government's Instant Asset Write-off scheme.

Mr Johnson has months of jobs ahead for his 30-strong workforce, but a recent search for new motor body builders and refrigeration mechanics has proved fruitless.

The 30-year veteran of the transport industry believes people are accessing JobKeeper and remaining at home for a similar amount to apprentice wages.

"I advertised for qualified tradespeople and I didn't get one application," he said.

"I got nothing, not even a response.

"JobKeeper is the biggest killer because it's given to the wrong people."

Mr Johnson fears the reliance on JobKeeper - paid at $1200 per fortnight until January 4 and then $1000 until March 28 - will leave thousands of people without an income when it ends.

"There will be an absolute nightmare of people who can't find work," he said.

Mr Johnson said it was the "worst time" to be hiring, despite Australia's unemployment rate hitting 6.8 per cent.

His own business has been growing despite COVID, with many small and medium-sized businesses using the slower period as a time to invest or upgrade equipment.

"I am balistically busy," he said.

"Every time the government gives tax incentives to small business we have a huge increase in our manufacturing."

Mr Johnson said each refrigeration body his company manufactured supported on average 2000 families through the supply chain.

He is happy to be busy now, but fears work will significantly fall when the government's JobSeeker and other economic stimulus measures end next year.

"If you do all of a year's work now, what do you do for the following year?"

"When stimulus ends is business going to ramp up?

"It's uncertain for everyone."


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