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City Care Wins 2012 Skills Highway Award

31 AUGUST 2012

Christchurch Company, City Care, Wins 2012 Skills Highway Award

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) congratulates Christchurch company, City Care, which has won the 2012 Skills Highway Award.

The MBIE Labour-sponsored award celebrates employers who offer workplace literacy training to improve employees’ reading, writing and maths skills.

The Skills Highway Award was one of five award categories in the ANZ New Zealand & EEO Trust Work & Life Awards 2012 announced last night at a gala dinner in Auckland.

Premier grade timber mill, Thames Timber, in Thames, was highly commended.

“City Care is an impressive and deserving winner,” says Todd Krieble, MBIE Labour Acting Deputy Chief Executive Policy and Research, and one of the awards judges.

Established in 1999, City Care has grown to employ more than 1,350 people operating 24/7 at 15 branch offices from Auckland to Timaru. It offers services in water and wastewater, parks, roading, construction and facilities management.

“Over the past year, the company has put a lot of effort into improving the foundation skills of its people, supporting them to cope with the increasingly sophisticated demands placed on them on the job.

“Better reading, writing and technology skills brought significant productivity gains. Employees are able to do aspects of their jobs faster and take on responsibilities they could not before. A number of employees have resumed qualifications study.”

City Care is confident of achieving efficiency gains worth $1 million a year.

“We heard at last night’s awards ceremony that workplace literacy training was a catalyst for wide, positive change in the business – and in individual employees’ lives,” says Mr Krieble.

MBIE Labour Group also congratulates Thames Timber, which used workplace literacy training to upskill employees in the basic economics of its business.

“Thames Timber wanted its employees to understand the company’s key performance indicators, which relate to safety, productivity, yields, quality assurance and continuous improvement.

“It has experienced a big shift in employee attitudes. When people ‘got it’, it led to much greater buy-in among staff, reduced downtime, improved safety, and better morale. Individuals are making better decisions which are creating more value for the business.”


Recent research shows that 1 million New Zealand adults have insufficient literacy and numeracy to function in a knowledge society. Poor adult literacy rates are considered a serious issue that costs businesses through accidents and injuries, high wastage, mistakes, missed deadlines and low productivity. MBIE Labour’s Skills Highway programme ( promotes workplace literacy training to employers, and offers free advice, tools and case studies.

For information on the awards, go to


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