Jobs and Skills Hub team supporting safety in construction

Published: May 4, 2021

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The Auckland-based Jobs and Skills Hub team are thrilled about a new workforce development initiative that recently launched in their region.

A group of people gathered for a photo outside the Northern Jobs and Skills Hub.

Training facilitator Sarah Laycock (wearing a green shirt) with participants from the first Site Safe Extra pilot at the Northern Jobs and Skills Hub.

A special pilot version of the Site Safe Foundation Passport in Building and Construction is supported by the Jobs and Skills Hubs team, alongside Site Safe NZ Inc. and training provider Education Unlimited.

The Provincial Development Unit’s Job and Skills Hub Auckland Manager, Joanne Verry says the ‘Site Safe Extra’ pilot was created in response to industry feedback that Health and Safety training needed more diversity to cater to individuals better.

"The pilot is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach. It focuses on understanding and retaining course content and is delivered to small groups, to make the most of opportunities to learn by doing," said Joanne.

"The content builds on key Site Safe topics including how to keep yourself safe, understanding and controlling risk, worksite hazards and employees’ legal obligations."

The Site Safe Extra pilot also covers topics that helps participants be successful in their jobs long-term.

"The programme helps people to understand their payslips and employment contract, and to develop time management and communication skills," said Joanne.

 "Embedding literacy, language and numeracy helps this programme build a more skilled, resilient, healthy and safe workforce in the construction industry."

Programme participants have said they appreciate the time spent helping them understand and navigate their training and employment journey, which can be loaded with acronyms and other jargon.

"The ‘extra’ [in the Site Safe Extra pilot programme] means I now understand what the words actually mean in my employment agreement and I know more about payslips. It was great," says one participant.

Joanne points out that it can be challenging to navigate industry-specific language that is not used in everyday life.

"Very few people would know what a MEWP is, yet 'mobile elevated work platforms' are a key part of the working environment for many participants," said Joanne.

"Our whole team is really pleased to be working with Site Safe NZ Inc. and Education Unlimited on this pilot programme. We have the chance to help people walk out with new tools in their safety and communication toolbox."