A 'sliver lining' for Simpson
A chance to be part of the Tairāwhiti Economic Support Package Redeployment Programme is opening plenty of doors for Kupa Simpson.
He’s making the most of the opportunity being back in work, but more importantly upskilling and gaining new qualifications. He was in the first intake picked up by ArborCare Tree Company to join crews removing hazardous trees from local roads. It is one of five projects in the Redeployment Programme.
Kupa grew up on farms and it was there he initially worked as a youngster. He later did a farming course and more recently worked in food processing. “I thought I would just be chucked in somewhere to work but it has been amazing,” he said. “They are helping me get qualifications which is going to be really helpful in the future. I am enjoying it a lot as I am doing different things all the time – the other day I was fencing and I am also on traffic management.”
Kupa completed the wheels, tracks and rollers as well as traffic control qualifications before joining ArborCare. He’s already spoken to the company’s business development manager Sandie Farr about gaining more qualifications including his truck licence and dangerous goods training. “I want to become an experienced chainsaw and machinery operator, and hopefully stay with ArborCare. They don’t just let you sit in one spot, they help you go places. COVID has brought with it a silver lining for me, that’s for sure.”
Sandie says their new worker has fitted in well and impressed management. “He’s got a great attitude and is so keen to learn – it is just what we look for in an employee.”
ArborCare will employ around 24 workers through the programme, with the hope that some will join the company permanently.
That’s music to the ears of those behind the $23.755 Council managed Tairāwhiti Redeployment Programme, which was initially set up to assist displaced forestry work but was later broadened to all who have been affected by the impact of COVID-19. The programme focuses on providing work, training and the opportunity to gain new qualifications to ensure better employment pathways for the future for the workers.
The $23.755m is part of $28.205m allocated to Tairāwhiti in March, with the remainder going to local Government agencies, the Ministry of Social Development, Department of Conservation, New Zealand Transport Agency and Ministry of Primary Industries. It is part of a nationwide $100m Government redeployment package.
Kupa Simpson is finding is niche working with ArborCare as part of the Tairāwhiti Economic Support Package Redeployment Programme.