Local firms bring on new talent for Ruapehu redeployment

Published: Sep 11, 2020

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  • Manawatū/Whanganui

Four Ruapehu businesses have brought on 25 new staff and secured work for their existing teams, thanks to Provincial Growth Fund support for redeployment efforts in the region.

A man in an orange high-vis vest stands smiling in the middle of a road amid temporary roadworks safety barriers.

Ruapehu local Hari Smith has taken up a new civil engineering cadetship offered by council contractor, GHD.

Ruapehu District Council COVID-19 Recovery Manager Warren Furner said that government funding redeployment has been a great initiative to help offset some of the economic and social impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Government wanted to see things happening at pace so Council moved quickly to align local employers with the contract opportunities and displaced workers and deliver jobs at pace,” Mr Furner said.

Engineering consultancy and council contractor GHD was able to offer a civil engineering cadetship, an opportunity that was taken up by Ruapehu local Hari Smith.

“This has enabled a young person who had been working for DOC and Ruapehu Alpine Lifts (RAL) before being displaced by COVID-19 to be given a professional career opportunity. This is an especially exciting outcome,” said Mr Furner.

Other council contractors in the district have also brought on new staff, such as infrastructure and facilities management firm Downer which has employed six people to be trained as roadworkers.

Additionally, Māori-owned business Ruapehu Recruitment will help Ruapehu WorX Ltd hire nine people to carry out cycle trail maintenance, while Taumarunui based AgSpec Services has employed a further nine people to fell wilding pines on the road corridor, which will be processed as firewood for people in need.

The new hires are a great example of local redeployment initiatives providing opportunities for employment, training and upskilling while also delivering environmental, health and safety and recreational improvements for local communities.