Lockdown Time Converted to Study Time

Prue Feely Civil, News, Our People, Ultimit / Women in Infrastructure

Civil infrastructure trainees around the country put the recent Level 4 lockdown hours to good use hitting the books and studying toward their apprenticeships.

Lateisha Jeeves, Fulton Hogan Whangarei and Quaid Leech, Extreme Earthmoving Ltd in Auckland, switched their study from the workplace to home making the most of the lockdown hours.

Lateisha is part of Fulton Hogan’s road maintenance crew in Whangarei and continued to work through the Alert Level 4 lockdown as part of the infrastructure sector’s essential work, ensuring that the Whangarei District Council drainage network remained intact.

Lateisha said it was really challenging to continue her workbook training from the kitchen table. “I wanted to continue doing what I could to finish my qualification. It was hard to do, but great to finish.”

Completing the NZ Certificate in Infrastructure Works Level 2, gives Lateisha the confidence and recognition to say “she can do it”. She hopes to continue to grow with the company, gain new experiences, and lead the way for women in the industry with evidence of her success: “If they can do it (men) so can we!”

Lateisha says that not being able to knuckle down for her study at Fulton Hogan’s office as she normally would, and gather the evidence on sites with the support of her team directly around her was hard. Despite this she persevered and actually completed her qualification, she was driven to finish what she set out to do.

Quaid Leech studied during Level 4 lockdown to keep his mind active and maintain a schedule so when the time came, the return to work this week was easier.

Quaid and his Extreme Earthmoving Ltd workmates had to close-down their AMETI Project site when the country went into Alert Level 4. Whilst this was a huge blow for the team and company, Quaid was keen to do what he could from home to continue progressing his training and career. 

Quaid’s Connexis Customer Service Account Manager considers Quaid to be one of his most self-motivated and keenest trainees. He was really impressed when Quaid took the initiative to reach out after the Level 4 announcement, asking him to “Let’s make it happen”, and to send him any training work he could his way.

“Being able to progress my training whilst in lockdown was important to help me keep a sense of normality, stay positive and have things to do,” Quaid says.

During Level 4 lockdown Quaid completed his outstanding NZ Certificate in Infrastructure Works (Earthworks) L3 units and also got a head start with his NZ Certificate in Infrastructure Works (Earthworks) L4. Which once completed will see him nationally recognised with an NZ Apprenticeship. Something he says is great to have to prove he knows what he’s doing and fast-track his career.

As much as Quaid has found it good to get that time at the desk and complete some theory units he’s incredibly keen to get back on site, have a laugh with the crew and get on with getting the job done.

Connexis supports training for the Infrastructure Industry and Chief Executive Toby Beaglehole says, that while it’s vital to stay safe as people return to work and the country rolls out new Government backed major projects, it’s also vital that the roll-out encompasses personal wellbeing and longer-term growth.  

“COVID-19 has changed the workplace landscape, and it brings unique challenges.  The Connexis field team has spoken to over 90% of our trainees since the move to Level 4 isolation and it’s clear that everyone is facing new stresses and every person’s experience of the impacts of lockdown is different. These all need to be taken into consideration for their return to work.”