Farmworker takes novel approach to job hunting

Coster is yet to land a concrete job offer.
Coster is yet to land a concrete job offer. Photo credit: Getty

Kevin Coster has been working on farms for more than 30 years. 

But now, needing to vacate his rental property in Ōpōtiki in a matter of days and with no work in the area on the horizon, he's taking a novel approach to job hunting.

The 49-year-old has recently been seen standing on the side of the road near Piarere, south of Cambridge, holding out a sign to motorists passing by.

"Looking 4 farm jobs ASAP," the sign reads, with Coster's phone number written in large letters below.

Born in Taranaki, Coster says he's been doing contracting work - "a bit of fencing, a bit of farming work, etc" - for more than three decades.

"I've been dairy farming since 1986," he told Magic Talk's Leah Panapa on Thursday evening.

But despite the dairy industry facing a worker shortage, in recent weeks he's had no luck on the work front.

Coster says one possible reason is the fact he's hearing impaired.

"I'm partly deaf myself," he said, adding that a hearing aid he got a few years ago has been a game-changer for him.

When asked if there was discrimination in the industry because of his hearing impairment, he said: "not all the time, but yes, there is".

But now, his approach to job hunting, which has turned more than a few heads, might just be paying off.

"I've done this thing before," he said.

"My idea is I'm trying to show a way of getting out there and looking for work. Work don't come looking for you so you've got to go out there and show yourself."

He said he also wanted to provide inspiration to others searching for jobs in these tough times.

"I go out there and go on the side of the road, stand out there and thousands of cars go by and maybe one or two people go by in their cars, trucks, whatever and word of mouth goes around."

So far he says he has had a "good response back" but is yet to land a concrete job.