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QRS staff upskill at unique Northland training centre

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Quality Roading and Services continues to improve its talent  pool of experienced staff after selected supervisors and operators spent a week at a unique heavy machinery operator training centre in Whangarei this year.

Eleven staff over two intakes took part in the hands-on training at Wilson Heavy Machinery Training Centre refining and fine turning their own skills.

Last month they received their completion certificates at QRS’s Kaimoana Rd depot from Wilson Heavy Machinery Training Centre manager John Henare.

The Whangarei state-of-the-art training centre has been recognised as one of New Zealand’s pre-eminent training facilities. It boasts Australasia’s only Caterpillar simulators.

During the training week QRS staff improved their knowledge around the fundamentals of earthmoving, efficient versus inefficient plant operation, productivity versus cost, and machine operations to reduce wear and tear.

QRS chief executive Nigel Pollock says much of the course focussed on respecting health and safety, colleagues and the machinery.

“In our industry and at our workplaces there are unique demands placed on staff. Even if someone has clocked up years on the job, or always done a job a particular way, there may be ways to improve.”

Staff on the course had an opportunity to see industry improvements and incorporate them into their own management and operation procedures.

QRS training officer Peter Wairau says the extra instruction and the technology the centre uses, has helped staff be more accurate, productive, and safe. They’ve  now easily transferred their new skills to the worksite.

“Wilson Training Centre methodologies are based on practical hands-on experiences that our staff wouldn’t be able to access anywhere else.”

“By offering opportunities like this staff know they are valued and that they’ll be able to perform their jobs effectively, efficiently, competently and safely.”

Staff lived onsite in shared accommodation during training week giving members from the routine and construction arms of QRS a chance to learn more about each other’s jobs.

Mr Henare says QRS’s staff were “an awesome bunch of guys” and open minded as to what they were going to experience in Whangarei. “Some of the senior staff had light bulb moments as they re-remembered practices and techniques they could be using. The way all the boys conducted themselves during the week with us is a testament to QRS and its culture.”

 Mr Pollock says QRS is renowned for the individual training plans offered to all staff allowing them to acquire new skills, increase their contribution to QRS, and build self-esteem. “It’s imperative we continue to give staff opportunities like this.”

Another 10 staff will study at the centre before the end of the year.

Image caption: Quality Roading and Services supervisory and operator staff who took part in the Wilson Heavy Machinery Training Centre week-long programme this year were Jade Beattie, Rob Ruru, Tumanako Waiwai, Che Smith, Arnold Smith, Thomas Perston, and Justin Kaimoana. They are photographed with Wilson Heavy Machinery Training Centre’s Omar Wilson (far left) and Wilson Heavy Machinery Training Centre manager John Henare (far right). QRS staff missing from the photo are: Aperahama Moses, Tui Paikea, Toots Rowlands, and Rob Christie. The men are pictured in front of QRS’s new Caterpillar M 140 grader which Rob Ruru has been operating 

29 October 2020

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