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Roading: Building a home-grown workforce

30 Sep 2019

Roading: Building a home-grown workforce

With more investment into our road network that ever before, local contractors are being supported by Government agencies to identify skill shortages in the market.

Kurt Allan at Gisborne traffic management company ProTraffic has received a number of current staff members from a course organised by Work and Income New Zealand focused on how to operate a digger.

“These courses have been a great initiative to prepare people for our industry and they gain so much more confidence from this specialised training,” said Mr Allan.

Above: Te Rangi Marie Bartlett gets practical training on using a digger.

Annie Aranui, Regional Commissioner for Ministry of Social Development for the East Coast, believes that the right partnerships are delivering the right results.

“The Provincial Growth Fund has provided an excellent platform to connect local people into employment. The pre-employment digger school industry partnership was developed with the Tairāwhiti Transport Group. This saw 20 people gain their Class 2 licences with 13 out of 20 participants securing employment locally.”

One of the objectives of the Provincial Growth Fund investment is creating sustainable jobs which lead to sustainable growth.

The Provincial Development Unit, located in the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, has worked closely with Work and Income New Zealand and our regional economic development agency, Activate Tairāwhiti, to identify areas of growth and labour and skill shortages in Tairāwhiti. 

 Above: Kuru Contracting is leading the way for change on the East Coast.

Up to 120 local people are working on Provincial Growth Fund projects at any one time, however, the extra investment impact goes much further than just direct employment.

Mr Allan says working with local suppliers has led to strong, productive local working relationships.

“We now have 16 vehicles and one on its way. Every one of our trucks needs a custom-made deck and up to ten thousand dollars’ worth of light fixtures, all of which we get installed by local suppliers,” said Mr Allan.

Senior Regional Official at the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, Apryll Parata, believes that this combination is a winning one.

“The ability to take advantage of the information, data, strengths and resources of each agency has been brilliant.

 “Honestly, while we all have good and great intentions of reducing local unemployment, we simply cannot achieve this without employers like Downer, Kuru, Fulton Hogan and their sub-contractors’ network like ProTraffic, Parata and Blackbee Contracting.”