Skills for Canterbury

News News & events

26 Oct 2012

CPIT’s new Skills for Canterbury (SFC) unit is meeting the training needs of the region, working alongside businesses to identify skills gaps and professional development opportunities and translate these into appropriate training delivery options.

Developed in response to the needs of the Christchurch rebuild, the demand-led model allows CPIT to respond quickly and effectively to the varied training requirements of industries in the post-earthquake environment.

30,000 new workers required

Recent figures (September) reveal that Christchurch will need around 30,000 new workers to complete the region’s rebuild. SFC will provide the training to ensure these workers have the skills required; progressing those who want to up-skill and developing partnership models with businesses such as cadetships.

“At Skills for Canterbury we work with businesses to identify how we can best add value to their operations through professional development and other training for staff at all levels,” Phil Agnew, Director of SFC says.

The four key areas contributing to SFC at CPIT are architectural studies, trades, engineering technology and business. SFC also works with industry groups and earthquake recovery organisations to provide skills solutions for rebuild and recovery needs.

Strengthening the migrant workforce

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With a growing migrant workforce in Christchurch, SFC is responding by developing a specific model to assist businesses with the induction and up-skilling of international workers who are flocking to help with the city’s rebuild from around the world.

CPIT’s highly regarded International Department, English Language School and Refugee and Migrant Service all contribute to SFC. Businesses will send migrant workers to be up-skilled through short-courses at the Trades Innovation Institute where they will be supported every step of the way; from Visa application through to integrating into the Canterbury community. English language schooling for migrant workers will also be provided where needed, particularly around local working terminology.

Transfield Services case study

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Transfield Services, a global operations, maintenance and construction services business is the first company to work with SFC to up-skill a group of migrant workers. SFC set up a practice work space and training exercise for 16 new staff from the Philippines and Korea at CPIT’s Trades Innovation Institute which will be used by a further 120 migrant workers as part of their induction into Transfield before Christmas.

“Working with Skills for Canterbury was brilliant. Whatever we wanted to do Skills for Canterbury was ready to help. Whether we wanted to use their staff, or just equipment or hire venues on weekends there was never a problem,” Adrian Couchman, Regional HSE Manager at Transfield Services says.

Several other companies have also approached SFC looking for migrant worker training in areas that include painting and decorating and carpentry.

“CPIT has solid experience with educating and supporting international students. We also have close ties with local migrant communities. Our international capability and knowledge means that SFC is well-placed to provide training to migrant workers across all sectors in the region,” Agnew says.

Supporting local capability

It’s not only businesses with specialised international training needs that are seeking the help of SFC; the unit is working locally with several key business in the trades sector as well as the business and hospitality sectors to up-skill staff.

One key client is the Ministry of Social Development who is working with SFC to take people from unemployment to working in the civil construction trade. People entering this programme have to meet the ministry's eligibility for Skills for Industry programmes. A three-week short course has been developed based on CPIT’s 12 week Essential Civil Skills programme to give SFC trainees the core skills needed to enter the workforce.

SFC is also providing professional development for Independent Line Services and Connetics staff through cable laying courses at the Trades Innovation Institute. Project management pathways have been set up to up-skill staff working on rebuild projects and a merchant’s retail option is being developed to ensure that staff providing tradespeople with equipment have the right product knowledge and sales skills.

With the hospitality sector reigniting, SFC is seeing an increased interest in hospitality training for staff at both new and established Christchurch restaurants, bars and entertainment venues.

Elevating community groups

Community organisations and charities are also looking to SFC for help managing projects which will enrich the lives of Cantabrians.

With many more exciting partnerships to be announced, SFC really is a one-stop-shop where industry can find the practical solutions to meet their needs. For more information contact Phil Agnew, Director of Skills for Canterbury:
03 940 6039