Downer is one of four procurement partners that will be supporting the Government’s new Mana in Mahi – Strength in Work programme.
The company says that with the skills shortage and a very low unemployment rate, the infrastructure sector is well placed to work with unskilled labour to upskill and provide the support needed for a successful career in the industry.
“The Downer Basic Programme is a shared commitment to participate in practical training and skill development with the Ministry of Social Development (MSD),” says Debbie Kirby, general manager HR at Downer.
“To date, we have placed over 400 Downer Basic graduates into our business employing an additional 600 MSD job seekers directly. Because of this success, we want to share this training programme with the wider industry.
Debbie says she has worked on the partnership for a number of years now. “For Downer, the partnership has been a huge success, we’ve placed over 1000 people into employment and look forward to sharing our learnings with our subcontractors to help build a stronger industry.”
From this month (October), Downer is piloting a Mana in Mahi training programme in Auckland that will see the MSD clients placed in full-time employment with Downer’s subcontractors. The programme will provide the participants of the programme with a basic civils training five day training course: Site Safe Foundation Passport – Civil; R, T, W license (if eligible); Construct Safe qualification; Traffic Control Level 1 training; Basic first aid training; Units towards National Certificate in Infrastructure Level 2; light vehicle training / spotter training; and Full PPE.
The programme also involves ongoing management of the participant through Downer’s ‘In Work Success Programme’ for a period of 12 months, and follow-up training course days (a one-day course and a two-day course) to complete their National Certificate unit standards.
If the pilot is proved to be successful, Downer, in partnership with MSD will then look to roll this out with subcontractors around the country.
Viv Rickard, deputy chief executive of Service Delivery at MSD is calling on other companies to follow Downer’s lead.
“It’s a great initiative to be a part of – we support you to grow your business and give our young people a chance for a better future. How can you not want to get behind something like that? Give us a call. We’d love to hear from you.”