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September 12, 2016 at 09:45 am

Media Release: 

Skills Highway changing lives and workplaces in NZ

Smarter, safer, prouder kiwi workplaces feature in new Skills Highway success stories, showing the impact and effectiveness of investing in improving literacy and numeracy skills in the workplace.

Whangarei’s Carter Holt Harvey Woodproducts and South Auckland’s Pacific Homecare showcase the difference literacy training has made to their businesses and the wider community.

“This programme helped me to build my self-esteem and my confidence. I’m now looking forward to going to MIT to study more about the English language. This course has given me the courage to go further,” says Pacific Homecare support worker Tulai Luamanu.

Improving adult literacy is an urgent challenge in New Zealand, with low literacy and numeracy affecting the home and working lives of hundreds of thousands of adults.

Skills Highway is working to turn this around with the help of employers committed to improving the literacy, numeracy and communication skills of staff.  Run by the Industry Training Federation (ITF) in partnership with the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), Skills Highway connects employers with funding, resources and training providers to help create safer, happier, more productive workplaces.

“Our most important resource is our people,” says Doug Hallberg, Whangarei Site Manager from Carter Holt Sawmill. “If we invest the training in our people, we’ll get a return every single time.”

Firms involved with Skills Highway report increased confidence and engagement, greater health and safety awareness, improved workplace culture, and competence on the job.

“I’d like to see myself as a shift supervisor and go from there,” says Jamal Uiese from Carter Holt. “I wasn’t really one to learn from a book, but it’s made things a lot more interesting, and I can see a better future.”

Hamish Crooks, Pacific Homecare Chief Executive, says English is a second language for 90% of his staff. “It’s a great workforce. Multi-lingual, multi-talented, and now it participates more than ever.” 

The ultimate benefit is better health outcomes for their elderly and disabled clients. 

Skills Highway is a government funded programme supporting firms to deliver specialised literacy and numeracy support to workers and industry trainees.  It delivers better business performance, and better working lives.  We want to hear from more employers who want to build safer, smarter workplaces. 

Please share the videos among your networks and contact the Skills Highway team to find out more. 

Contact: Nicky Murray, Skills Highway Programme Manager 027 562 5093