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Real Journeys Supreme Winner at the 20th Diversity Awards NZ


25 August 2017

Real Journeys Supreme Winner at the 20th Diversity Awards NZ

Real Journeys Chief Executive Richard Lauder says he is delighted the tourism company has been named the Supreme Winner at the Diversity Awards NZ as well as winning the Tomorrow’s Workforce Award, at a ceremony in Auckland last night.

“The tourism business is all about increasing diversity and it’s great to be acknowledged and recognised for the work we do in our part of the country. To bring the top award down south is a huge honour for us,” says Richard.

Other Diversity Award category winners on the night included Air New Zealand, The Warehouse Group, ANZ and Coca-Cola Amatil.

The Tomorrow’s Workforce Award was for an initiative to solve an industry-wide shortage of qualified skippers and to address a lack of career pathways for maritime staff. Real Journeys’ training initiative has seen it become the country’s biggest maritime training employer after the New Zealand Navy. The company is utilising its experienced launch masters who are close to retirement to train the next generation of skippers, as well as helping crew gain qualifications such as maritime crewing, passenger services and master’s assistant (NZQA Levels 2 & 3). So far over 200 Real Journeys staff have gained one or more of the qualifications.

Real Journeys Director of People and Performance Kevin Sharpe says his team worked closely with Competenz, Coastguard Boating Education and Maritime NZ to design and build the qualifications, training structure and even the content of the workbooks. He says the scheme has not only provided opportunities for younger staff but it has also provided a new challenge for some of its most senior skippers.

“Involving these talented skippers in this way has been a win-win. It’s given them a new purpose, their experience is being genuinely recognised and respected and they’re enjoying passing on their skills in a practical way where they can really see the positive outcomes,” says Kevin. “We started this whole thing from scratch but now we have had other companies approach us who would like to use the training too, which is incredibly rewarding, and we’re more than happy to share our learnings. It benefits all of us.”

The maritime initiative is just one of a number of diversity and inclusion initiatives that Real Journeys has launched in the last year, including being a signatory to the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles, running Unconscious Bias workshops and setting up a Diversity and Inclusion Council.


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