Wairoa Star: Civil contracting apprenticeships distinction for three QRS staff

Prue Feely Civil, Civil Trades, News

When you start at the bottom it’s important to be recognised as you move up within your chosen industry, says one of three civil construction stalwarts who gained Civil Trades Certification at Quality Roading and Services (QRS) last month.

“It’s given us industry recognition and distinction as skilled tradespeople,” says QRS project supervisor Joe Winiana.

“There’s a huge difference to where I started and how far I have come and so this qualification proves it’s really paid off.”

Mr Winiana, and road maintenance site supervisors Rob Ruru and Thomas Perston, received their Civil Trades Certification from industry training organisation Connexis during a ceremony at QRS.

Civil Trades Certification is a nationally recognised accreditation programme for civil contractors that blends a trade apprenticeship with thousands of hours of practical experience. *

Mr Winiana, Ngāti Kahungunu, has worked in construction and roading for nearly 20 years and says his determination to do well has been recognised.

“When I learned that I might be eligible with all my time in the industry I was really pleased.”

Thomas Perston joined the civil construction industry 18 years ago. He’s been with QRS a decade, worked across a range of jobs, and tallied up tens of thousands of hours as a skilled operator. He’s now a site supervisor and wants to keep learning, particularly in the area of management.

“I enjoy helping others who are learning and going through the stages that I’ve been through. It’s something I can do for the company as those younger guys coming through benefit with help from us older staff.”

QRS chief executive Nigel Pollock says “veterans of the industry like Thomas, Rob and Joe can feel pride at finally gaining formal recognition as highly skilled tradespeople”.

They each have around 8,000 hours of practical experience in a range of specialities from road and pipeline construction and maintenance, to road surfacing.

“This qualification gives these guys an industry career, not just a company job. Rather than being an invisible workforce they are recognisably respected tradespeople and we hope the pathway they’ve taken is an inspiration to others.”

Thomas, Rob and Joe join experienced QRS staff Stacey Pompey, Lee Pomana, and Mike Wilson who received their certification in 2018.