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Ten Businesses Enter Skills Highway Award 2012

Ten Businesses Enter Skills Highway Award 2012
The businesses entered in this year’s Skills Highway Award place a high value on workplace literacy training, and are clearly proud of the results they achieve, says Labour Department Deputy Chief Executive Labour Group, Lesley Haines.
Ten companies have entered the fourth annual Skills Highway Award sponsored by the Department of Labour – double last year’s entries.
Ms Haines says organisations that provide workplace literacy training report a variety of business benefits. A lift in employee skills often leads to more accurate and efficient work, better employee engagement and morale, higher staff retention and improved health and safety practice. Ultimately, these outcomes contribute to better productivity and profitability.
“We’re very pleased to see double the number of entries from last year, as well as a broad range of industries, business size and locations represented,” says Ms Haines. 
The Skills Highway Award celebrates workplaces that successfully improved the reading, writing, maths and oral communication skills of their employees.
It is one of five categories in the annual ANZ New Zealand & EEO Trust Work & Life Awards 2012, which recognise employers who make the most of New Zealand’s increasingly diverse workforce.  Award winners will be announced at a gala dinner on 30 August in Auckland.
This year’s Skills Highway Award entrants are:
•        Acma Industries Ltd: Specialist manufacturer in polyurethane foam moulding, based in Upper Hutt
•        City Care: National infrastructure services organisation; head office in Christchurch
•        Counties Manukau District Health Board: Major health and community services provider in South Auckland
•        Creative Abilities & Associates Ltd: Private health and community services provider, based on the North Shore, Auckland
•        Hansells Food Group Ltd: Food manufacturer, with three manufacturing sites in Penrose and New Lynn in Auckland, and Masterton
•        Metal Skills: Manufacturer of sheet metal products, based in East Tamaki, Auckland
•        OceanaGold Corporation: Melbourne-headquartered gold producer that owns and operates New Zealand’s largest gold mine, Macraes (Open Pit and Frasers Underground) and Reefton Open Pit mine
•        Snap Fresh Foods: Pre-packaged salads manufacturer, with sites in Mt Wellington (Auckland), Rangiriri (Waikato) and Nelson
•        Spotless: Australasian service provider with four New Zealand divisions in food, cleaning, laundry and facility management; head office in Auckland
•        Thames Timber: Building material and supplies processing company, based in Thames.
The Adult Literacy Survey in 2006 showed that 44 percent or more than 1 million New Zealand working age adults had insufficient literacy and numeracy to function in a knowledge society. New Zealand’s poor adult literacy rates are considered a serious issue that costs businesses through accidents and injuries, high wastage, mistakes, missed deadlines and low productivity.
The Department of Labour’s Skills Highway website promotes workplace literacy training to employers, and offers free advice, tools, and case studies. For more information about the ANZ New Zealand & EEO Trust Work & Life Awards 2012, go to


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