“As soon as I told my partner I was going to jump on a loader and start driving it around she could see my big beaming grin. It’s been fun, I’ve enjoyed it. I love it,” says Wiremu Wilson.
Wiremu is one of 24 additional people Fulton Hogan has employed in Tairāwhiti (Gisborne/East Coast) as part of a partnership with the Ministry for Social Development (MSD), the Provincial Growth Fund and Gisborne District Council. Wiremu has a six-month, full-time contract in Quarries.
Fulton Hogan’s North Island Social Development Manager Sarah Comber (pictured here with Wiremu at a Fulton Hogan quarry) says the opportunity to create work in conjunction with roading projects in the region has been a “real win-win”.
“There’s pressing need for new employment opportunities up the Coast and there are many people with potential, the right attitude and real aptitude. This programme has been a chance for us to uncover them, and to show the opportunities within Fulton Hogan,” says Sarah.
“Alongside our partner agencies and local iwi we help them grow and develop, and they’re becoming our advocates in their communities. There’s no more powerful complement than someone saying ‘I love working there’.”
Key to its success has been the RICK model – Recruit, Induct, Circulate and, ultimately, Keep – applied by the team on the East Coast.
“It’s about focusing on the individuals rather than the numbers to find which peg fits which hole,” says Fulton Hogan’s Contract Divisional Manager, Rick Gardner. “Careful recruitment and induction is critical, but so is circulation throughout the departments for a sense of who’s out there and what’s possible.”
East Coast Regional Manager Andrew Harvey says the programme underlines the benefits of being as close as possible to the community.
“The closer you are, the better you understand who is out there. In the process, the community also understands more about Fulton Hogan, about how we work and what we have to offer.”
North Island General Manager Simon Dyne says the programme aligns neatly with Fulton Hogan’s REAL (Respect, Energy & Effort, Attitude and Leadership) values.
“There’s a great fit, and as a Kiwi-owned company there’s nothing better for us than seeing New Zealanders grow and develop. We look forward to working with the government to help see this happen more widely.”