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Ritchies sign training agreement


Media Release

November 26 2008

Ritchies sign training agreement to upskill driving force

Ritchies Transport bus drivers will be some of the best-trained in New Zealand thanks to a workplace training agreement signed today with industry training organisation Tranzqual ITO.   

New Zealand's biggest privately-owned bus company is entering the agreement to invest in the skill, knowledge and customer service skills of 650 drivers throughout New Zealand who will be able to undertake nationally recognised driver training over the next three years.

The agreement will deliver National Certificate qualifications recognised by industry as adding value, creating career pathways and serving industry needs.

Ritchies operations director, Andrew Ritchie, says it is of great importance to have well trained staff who can deliver quality service to customers.

"The training will complement and reinforce the skills that our drivers already have and will help them to continue the great job they have been delivering to our clients for some time," Mr Ritchie said.

A real positive in engaging in training is that drivers will be able to have their skills formally recognised, he said.

"Some of our drivers have worked through unit standards in the past and they get a real sense of achievement out of it. The training gives them a benchmark standard they will all be able to achieve."

Tranzqual ITO provides world class industry training standards for the road transport, warehousing and logistics sectors, passenger services and ports and stevedoring industries.

Tranzqual ITO chief executive Wayne Smith said he was delighted Ritchies had signed the agreement.

Mr Smith said investing in driver training and customer service when demand for public transport was increasing showed great foresight.

"Research has shown that the performance of an organisation can improve by up to 20 per cent if formal training and staff recognition are introduced.

"The paying customer will benefit greatly as skilled workers are innovative workers and also have better safety records."

Mr Ritchie said the drivers were looking forward to the challenges ahead with enthusiasm.

"It is quality training and very good for the drivers. This is what they know so for most it will simply reinforce best practice," he said.

Ritchies Transport Holdings Ltd is a company at the forefront of the passenger transport industry, with more than 600 buses and coaches operating throughout New Zealand.

The company was formed 70 years ago by John Ritchie (Senior) and is still owned at the present day by the Ritchie family. The company originated in Temuka. Its head office was located in Timaru but at the beginning of December 2003 this was relocated to Christchurch.

Ritchies expanded into the North Island 20 years ago and now has a large operation in Auckland in addition to branches in Rotorua, Helensville, Dargaville and Ruakaka.

ends

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