New Zealand has its first two fully trade certified water pipeline construction and maintenance workers, following the introduction of Civil Trade Certifications in 2015.
Clayton Douglas, from Abergeldie Harker in Christchurch, and Craig Hart from Infracore in Rotorua are the first civil infrastructure workers to be certified in water since the establishment of the Civil Trades Certification board two years ago.
Prior to 2015, workers in civil infrastructure have had no industry-wide, standardised, transferrable trade qualification, despite it being one of the largest industries in New Zealand, encompassing 600 businesses and with an annual turnover of $20 billion.
Both Clayton and Craig have many years’ experience in water pipeline construction and maintenance between them, and completed the new certification through the Recognition of Current Competence (RCC) process.
The process recognises the previous experience of workers and requires them to gather evidence of that experience to change as per other press release
Clayton, the first person awarded Pipeline Construction & Maintenance in Water as well as Wastewater and Stormwater certification, says he would recommend gaining the certification to anyone in the industry.
“I would say it’s 100 percent worthwhile. It wasn’t hard to do and it backs up the last 27 years I’ve done out in the field. I am now a recognised qualified civil pipe layer. That onsite experience is backed up with a recognised ticket.
Craig, who has worked in the industry for more than ten years and was awarded Pipeline Construction & Maintenance in Water, also recommends others go for the certification.
“It means there’s a solid paper trail that really proves you’re able to do the job.”
Civil Trades Board evaluator and Connexis assessor Ross McArthur was one of those who originally campaigned for the certification process. He says it is vital for the future of the civil infrastructure industry in New Zealand.
“It means these guys have their skills and knowledge recognised nationally. They now actually have an officially recognised trade behind them. And that means not only transferrable skills for them, but standardised skills and safety across the industry.”
Ross says the certifications should also help solve the labour shortage problem within the industry.
“Recognising how much knowledge these older staff have – and they have seen and done pretty much everything in the field – means they can mentor younger staff coming through. It also gives them a huge sense of pride in their job.
“We do have a labour shortage, so having these jobs officially recognised as trades with a apprenticeship qualification, will hopefully help draw some young staff in. The next stage is really to get the industry behind the idea of apprenticeships.”