Connexis trade qualifications are tangible proof that you really do have the skills to do what you do, says New Zealand’s first holder of Forestry Earthworks and Civil Trade Certificates.
At the Eastland Wood Council Forestry Awards earlier in the year, a biennial event in Gisborne that celebrates achievement and excellence in the New Zealand forestry industry, John Broughton of Hastings-based Kimberly Contractors Ltd and MW Lissette & Gisborne received a unique honour.
Before an applauding audience of 500 of his industry peers, John (who is widely known in the industry as JB), received his Level 4 Forestry Earthworks Certificate and Civil Trades Certification. He is the first and only person in New Zealand to be awarded Civil Trades Certification in Forestry Earthworks.
By holding Civil Trades Certification JB is now recognised as a skilled tradesperson, not only qualified but also highly competent in forestry earthworks. Achieving the Level 4 qualification was the first step, JB also had to prove 2000 hours operating at a skilled level and have industry references to support his application.
The 51-year-old Company Trainer sees the training he undertook with Connexis, the industry training organisaiton for infrastructure, as a natural and valuable career step.
“I have always been detail-oriented and a bit of a stickler for reading operations manuals and health and safety regulations, so when I heard about the Connexis apprenticeships, I thought they were a great opportunity to learn more,” he says.
“They are also great in offering you the ability to ‘earn while you learn’, and they make it easy to apply the knowledge you gain.”
Qualifications and the opportunities they bring for management roles weren’t unknown to JB. Earlier in his career as a truck driver in Hawke’s Bay and Tairawhiti/Eastland he gained a National Certificate in Driving with McCarthy Transport, as well as a liking for completing unit standards to supplement his on-the-job knowledge.
At his next step at Carter Holt Forest in Napier he moved into a Dispatch supervisor role for McCarthy Transport where he helped run a fleet of 25 trucks and dispatch many sub-contractors and Pan Pac trucks. In a subsequent job as Senior Operations supervisor for Farmers Transport in Hastings he was responsible for dispatching, deliveries and pickups of livestock throughout the country.
JB has worked in forestry for many years in various roles including bushman, machine operator and a truck driver.
In 2015, JB joined MW Lissette and Kimberly Contractors Ltd as an operator. He saw a position for a company trainer advertised and decided to go for it. JB got this position and has worked hard to become a registered Assessor.
His employers Warwick and Annie Frogley have allowed JB to seek any training he may require for his role and including continuing his training with Connexis apprenticeships. JB says he was excited by the opportunities they gave him to really go somewhere career-wise.
After gaining a Level 3 NZ Certificate in Infrastructure Plant and equipment, JB continued on to do a NZ certificate L4 in Forestry Harvesting operations (Ground-Based Harvesting – Extraction) and was able to get recognised for his current competencies and achieve his Level 4 qualification in Forestry Earthworks which includes a variety of technical knowledge and practical skills including working with environmental, sustainability and safety standards, and team management on forestry earthworks sites. JB next worked towards his Civil Trade Certification and registration as a Certified Tradesperson.
JB says that finding time to work on gaining a qualification while holding down a busy work schedule isn’t always easy but his Connexis training, he says, made him look at things differently.
I didn’t stay long at high school, just wasn’t my thing, I just wanted to work, it makes me laugh that I am now doing so many qualifications.
“Before when I was doing unit standards, I would sometimes do things in a rush without thinking about them too much. But my training with Connexis really made me think and they brought all my knowledge and experience together.”
JB is currently completing a L4 in Forestry industry operations (Planning and Monitoring) and continuing his training towards a Level 5 qualification is a definite possibility for JB given his accumulated knowledge and experience as Company Trainer and assessor at MW Lissette & Kimberly Contractors where he is in charge of all aspects of the recruitment, HR, training and upskilling of the company’s staff.
One of the most satisfying aspects of his work, he says, is passing on his expertise to younger co-workers and encouraging them to upskill, gain qualifications and enhance their careers and also able to work alongside them whether it be on a metal truck, transporter, excavator, grader or on a shovel helping install culverts, to loading log trucks, shovelling logs or skidders anything to keep his hand in.
“I have seen and heard a lot of people who say you don’t need qualifications when you have plenty of experience, but you actually do,” it’s good for yourself and your employers, JB says. “Qualifications provide a record of what you have achieved and a certificate on your wall. They are tangible proof that you can really walk the talk about what you do.”
Connexis, Infrastructure Industry Training Organisation develops apprenticeships and training programmes for the infrastructure industries and supports trainees on their learning journey. Connexis programmes are nationally recognised programmes approved by NZQA.