Investment to meet demand for heavy machinery operators

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  • Northland/Te Tai Tokerau

The Provincial Growth Fund will invest $4.3 million to help establish a state-of-the-art heavy machinery operator training centre in Northland to address skills shortages and create new jobs.

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones said at the announcement that the shortage of heavy machinery operators was chronic in Northland where a lot of infrastructure and construction work is underway and the forestry, wood processing and agriculture sectors were expanding.

The training centre would develop a skilled, work-ready workforce in Northland, focusing on heavy machine operators for the civil, forestry, farming and construction sectors.

Funding recipient Wilson Earthmoving Group Limited has the experience after setting up a temporary training centre in Whangarei and investing their own money in purchasing state-of-the-art simulators and machinery. They also have had the input and support of the local industry.

The new technology they use will help trainees be more accurate, productive and safe and makes it easier for them to progress from a simulated environment to the worksite.

The training will target school leavers, the unemployed and young adults looking to get upskilled. The programme also includes pastoral care to ensure trainees have the best chance of completing the course and finding work. Eighty students will be trained this year.  

This investment demonstrates how the PGF is supporting people to learn the skills needed for local jobs, while also helping employers meet their growing labour force needs.

Published: Apr 12, 2019 · Updated: Dec 1, 2020