Leadership, Dedication And Civil Construction Training Celebrated In Christchurch
Young leaders, workers with a thirst for knowledge and outstanding employers behind some of Aotearoa’s top civil construction industry training were celebrated in Christchurch this afternoon at the Z Energy People Awards and Connexis Civil Industry Training Awards.
Hundreds of people from across the civil construction industry attended the prestigious awards, which were presented at Te Pae Convention Centre during Civil Contractors New Zealand’s National Conference.
Taranaki’s Fabian Bracken won the Z People Emerging Leader Award for his natural ability to communicate, lead and motivate those in his team. After five years in civil construction and at just 29 years of age, he has risen to the position of Taranaki Regional Manager for Connell Contractors.
The award judges Bailey Gair and Antony Chan acknowledged Mr Bracken’s exceptional practical skills, knowledge and knack for training people.
“Fabian has shown himself to be an outstanding emerging leader. At a young age, Fabian has managed to stand out within his company for his attitude and skills and has led from the front, including successfully setting up office in a new area and gaining new clients for his employer.”
The Z People Personal Improvement Award was presented to Danny Wilson, from South Island civil contracting business Isaac Construction.
Mr Wilson joined Isaac Construction on a temporary basis in 2017 and quickly proved his worth, securing a permanent role.
The judges’ acknowledged his dedication to self-improvement and rapid career progression from operator to foreman, to surveyor, to site engineer and now project engineer.
“Danny has been offered opportunities by his employer, put his hand up and completed a lot of study around a busy family life to be able to move into his current role.”
Two highly commended awards were presented as part of the Z People Awards. Reuben Ford from Smythe Contractors was highly commended in the Emerging Leader category, and Jane Mana from Pipeline & Civil was highly commended in the Personal Improvement category.
The Connexis Civil Industry Training Awards 2022 were also presented this afternoon.
Fulton Hogan’s lead role in supporting the Infrastructure Skills Centre earned it the award for companies with a turnover above $100 million.
Developed with the Ministry of Social Development, Civil Contractors New Zealand and the Construction Accord, and supported by other major industry employers, the skills centre is helping to address the industry’s skills shortage by providing career seekers with a paid learning experience that gives them the skills to succeed in civil construction.
In making the award, judges Brian Warren and Fiona Malloch commented on the “truly comprehensive approach to training and people development” demonstrated by Fulton Hogan in 2020 and 2021, when it hosted the first two Infrastructure Skills Centre trainee intakes at its Christchurch training facility and the National Driver Training Centre in Feilding.
Course entrants at each of the two intakes were employed, before embarking on a six-week programme that provided hands-on training, theory, and site visits. Trainees gained permanent employment with a range of civil construction companies after completing the six-week course.
The award for companies with a turnover between $10 million and $100 million went to Isaac Construction.
The award recognised the Christchurch company’s commitment to inspiring life-long learning among its staff, as well as its proactive engagement with schools to promote the infrastructure industry as a dynamic and positive career choice.
From the moment a team member is inducted, they embark on a lifelong journey of learning, including on-site coaching, literacy programmes when desirable, and formal studies – from NZQA Level 2 through to Diploma level and even MBA studies.
“Training and thus people development is well ingrained within this company but recent Isaac initiatives really caught our attention,” the judges said.
A relentless focus on professional development earned Christchurch company Austin Contracting the award for businesses with a turnover of up to $10 million. The company has put in place a formal KPI for at least two thirds of its team to hold an industry qualification, irrespective of their position in the business, age of gender.
Half of Austin Contracting’s employees are participating in training, with the second-year Apprentice in Bituminous Surfacing qualification offered via Mana in Mahi proving particularly popular.
“Supporting and encouraging people to achieve nationally recognised qualifications has contributed to a strong company culture and a stable workforce,” the judges said. “Their commitment to training is evidenced by the fact over two thirds of their staff either have or are working towards formal qualifications.”
Civil Contractors New Zealand Chief Executive Alan Pollard congratulated the award recipients, commenting that they were “outstanding ambassadors” for the civil construction industry.
“We have some truly exceptional individuals and training initiatives in New Zealand at the moment and these awards play an important role in recognising some of the shining lights of our industry.”
The annual Z People Awards were developed by Civil Contractors New Zealand, with support and sponsorship from Z, to recognise the outstanding achievements of individuals within the civil construction industry.
Z Energy Customer Manager - SME and Partner Relationships Amber Scott-Harvey said the awards showcased the fantastic young people shaping the future of New Zealand.
“There are some incredibly talented people coming through the ranks of New Zealand’s civil construction companies and they deserve to be recognised. Their efforts, whether as leaders or dedicated individuals keenly honing their craft, serve as examples of what can be achieved when you put your mind to it, irrespective of age.”
The Connexis Civil Industry Training Awards are presented annually by Civil Contractors New Zealand and sponsored by Connexis, to recognise employers that proactively provide learning opportunities for their staff to gain skills and develop their careers through a nationally recognised qualification.
Connexis Director Kaarin Gaukrodger said Connexis, through its support of the awards, was proud to shine a light on some of the civil employers who are investing in their people and building much-needed skills within industry.
“The employers recognised through these awards are passionate about skilling up their workforce and understand the importance to their business of growing a sustainable civil construction industry and ensuring the safety and wellbeing of their workers. Each of these employers has a built-in culture of training to national standards and is growing the capability of their business as a result. Training is vitally important to the industry – now more than ever – and we hope this year’s award winners inspire others with their dedication and outstanding efforts."