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Infrastructure Skills Centre diversifies

21 March 2024:

Fulton Hogan’s Infrastructure Skills Centre (ISC) has taken a fresh new step.

Three years after the company launched the ISC to introduce industry newcomers to the opportunities in infrastructure, a programme has been added for existing staff who are new to the water sector.

Eight staff from Dunedin, Invercargill, Alexandra and Christchurch were part of the pilot two-week practical training course based at Parkburn Quarry near Cromwell in late February and early March. They learned to install a water, waste and stormwater installation, with safe water practices and quality assurance checks.

South Island 3 Waters Manager Andy Clark developed the module with support from GM South Island Infrastructure Services Scott Meehan; NZ Lead – HSQES Skills Development, Alena Taylor and Drainage supervisor Andrew (AJ) Johnson, who was the programme manager. Training was provided by Martin Cummins, John Catt and Nathan Karst.

Andy says self-delivering the training gives flexibility in what is taught, where and how it is taught. It also means the learnings can be applied quickly.

“Accelerated learning helps our people apply newly acquired knowledge and skills immediately to day-to-day tasks, enhancing retention and fast-tracking their careers.”

It is also a chance to learn from each other.

“Not only did I learn so much about water installation, I enjoyed meeting and connecting with other Fulton Hogan staff who attended the training with me,” says Jordan Kotare from Southland.

National Water Manager Mark Christison says the water sector needs to expand the number of people involved and their skills to meet the demand for replacing aging infrastructure and to operate and maintain existing systems.

“Hands-on training is key to fast-tracking young and new industry people. Our staff do numerous technical courses as they enter and develop in the water industry, but hands-on courses that teach the field practice have been a bit of a missing link.

“This course, developed by our experienced field operators/maintainers, is a key to boosting field competency and will help enhance safety, experience, and productivity at the coal face. It’s a great step forward for our water teams.”

NZ Lead – HSQES Skills Development, Alena Taylor, says the pilot showed the need for two separate training programmes; one focusing on water operations and maintenance, and the other on 3 Water capital works.  Next steps are to finalise and roll these training programmes out throughout the country.

Pictured:   Trainees Jaedyn McKenzie and Flynn Meyer (both from Dunedin) and Jordan Kotare and Ashley Michel (both from Invercargill) learn about the installation of a fire hydrant.

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