Driver training partnership flourishes

Fulton Hogan is among a group of businesses in South Canterbury whose training initiative has received $600,000 in Provincial Growth Fund support.

The training course is the NZQA-approved Certificate in Commercial Road Transport (Heavy Vehicle Operation) and is based at Ara Institute’s Timaru campus. Fulton Hogan has already contributed a driving simulator, hands-on driver training and work experience for students.

Regional Operations Manager Brett King (pictured) also chairs the panel that oversees the course.

“It’s very gratifying to have this endorsement and to know this could be the start of something bigger – the government has seen potential for this training model to be used elsewhere in the country.”

Brett says the funding will make it easier for more businesses to give students work experience which is an important part of the course. The PGF funding will meet the cost of attendees during their 18 week practical training – a cost previously met by participating companies.

The Certificate in Commercial Road Transport course takes 30 young people per year in two 30-week courses, to a Level 4 qualification. The funding is part of Government’s newly announced pathways to jobs in regional New Zealand -a $14.7 million package to fund more pathways to jobs through training and education in regional New Zealand.

Chief Executive of South Canterbury’s economic development agency Aoraki Development Nigel Davenport says:  “The course is possible because of the time, expertise, work experience opportunities and generosity of local businesses. This was particularly attractive to the government in agreeing to the PGF funding.”

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