THE managers of Griffith’s two largest clubs have backed a controversial move forcing young job applicants to undergo a “bully assessment” with their former school principals before being hired.
A trial of the BullyCheck scheme – targeting cyber stalking, harassment and threatening behaviour – kicked off in Murray region clubs on Friday and is expected to be rolled out to Griffith if it proves successful.
Under the proposal, job candidates at licensed clubs aged 22 years and under will be asked to tick a box, allowing club management to do a character check with the applicant’s former school.
If the applicant refuses the test or fails the character assessment with principals, they will not be hired.
Exies CEO Gus Lico, who is also president of the Riverina Murray Club Managers Association, said the scheme sent an unmistakeable message to schoolyard bullies: “If you bully, you’re risking your future career”.
“It is definitely something we would support and we’ve already met with (education minister) Adrian Piccoli about it,” Mr Lico said.
“This will come to Griffith, I have no doubt, and it might make a lot of bullies think about the consequences of what they do to themselves and others.”
The scheme has been criticised for being too simplistic and too reliant on the judgement call of principals.
But ClubsNSW has said if students raised their own history of being a bully – and showed genuine remorse – then their applications would be considered on its
New Griffith Leagues Club general manager Dean McCarthy said the BullyCheck scheme was “worth serious consideration”.
“The message needs to be sent out to people that bullying has consequences,” Mr McCarthy said.
“It has a major effect on victims for the rest of their lives and often occurs at an age when they are most impressionable.
“Anything to reduce that has to be worth serious consideration.”
According to statistics provided by ClubsNSW, young people who bully have a one in four chance of having a criminal record by the time they reach 30.
Two-and-a-half million people experience some aspect of bullying during their working lives and bullying in the workplace costs businesses between $6 billion and $13 billion a year.
Local psychologist Michael Kruger-Davis, who works with adolescents, said while the scheme had “logistical limitations”, it was a step in the right direction.
“Bullying is a social issue that all sectors of society should be looking at,” he said.