Testimonials for our industry training

“Our partnership with NZALI has been great. We haven’t been able in the past to allocate this level of training for our staff. NZALI organised the funding from TEC, helped develop the programmes, and delivered the programmes to our staff over a period of months.
It all went well. Our staff enjoyed the sessions and gained important skills. It has helped our business serve our customers better, and it has helped our staff upskill and enjoy their jobs more.
Communication, planning, values, teamwork have been some of the essential skills developed. We are very thankful to NZALI and TEC for this important opportunity.
I would recommend it, and have done, to other employers who want to improve their business and train their staff.”

John Spring. B.Com. CA., Managing Director, The Beacon Media Group, Whakatane

“Our relationship with NZALI has developed and grown into a strong partnership.
The programmes and content of the programmes are very applicable to our daily work, our staff are able to employ and apply newly learned skills and can see great results immediately, the programmes have also helped us develop competencies of our staff which enables them to respond to the challenges we face in our industry. Feedback from our staff is always positive after a training session.
NZALI is very effective and efficient, from organising the funding from TEC, to content and delivery of the programmes.
Communications, Supervisory, Management, and Teamwork have been some of the skills learned. The development of our people at Wairakei Resort is a major focus, which now NZALI is contributing to and enhancing. We would certainly never hesitate to recommend NZALI to other employers in our region.”

Jane Thew, Human Resources Manager, Wairakei Resort, Taupo

“At Huhtamaki Henderson we saw a need to enhance our company culture, and address a number of issues around communication, quality, and health and safety processes. We sought funding for a workplace literacy and numeracy programme from TEC, and engaged NZALI to deliver it.
A group of ’emerging leaders’ is working with NZALI on a tailored training programme, and we have observed some great talent and skills emerging through the course of the programme. Our Learning and Development Co-ordinator reports that some in the group ‘feel proud and recognised because of participating in the training’.
As a result of the programme, Team Leaders now focus on empowering front line staff to take responsibility. As operators have become more proactive and utilise better communication, down-time has been reduced, and profitability has improved.
Our Production manager says ‘There is a better atmosphere and we are seeing greater levels of diffused responsibility and ‘just-in-time’ decision-making. Staff are learning to work with what’s in their control, and use problem-solving techniques early in the process’.
We are very happy with our collaboration with NZALI.”

Jess Senior, HR Manager, Huhtamaki Henderson Ltd, Auckland

Skills Highway Champion Awards 2020: Highly Commended Learner

Left: Nazli Effendi, NZALI Director of Studies; Pooja Maine, Award Recipient; Teresa Ngau-Chun, NZALI Auckland Regional Coordinator.

In November 2020, Pooja Maine was recognised as a Highly Commended Learner as part of the national Skills Highway Champion Awards 2020.

Pooja participated in a workplace learning and development programme developed by NZALI and Huhtamaki New Zealand, as part of the Employer-Led Workplace Literacy and Numeracy fund.

In her former role as Team Leader Quality Assurance at Huhtamaki, Pooja was able to benefit from the programme by growing her skillset, become solutions-focused, and prioritise working collaboratively to build her team’s capability.

As a result of the programme, Pooja was better equipped to lead her team to build their literacy and numeracy capability, which in turn influenced how they delivered quality assurance training across the plant floor. Pooja also developed key performance indicators within her team so they had a holistic understanding of the business and their role in it.

This programme led to Pooja’s interest to continue developing her personal leadership skills, and as a result Pooja completed the New Zealand Certificate in Adult Literacy and Numeracy Education.

Congratulations Pooja, you exemplify NZALI’s approach to learn, lead, develop, grow.

Workplace Training Comes with Big-Picture Culture Shift for Huhtamaki

Food packaging manufacturer Huhtamaki, encourages entrepreneurial spirit and strives to trust and empower individuals. To make a step-change in these areas they decided to complement their operational and leadership development programme with a developing leaders programme.

From a top-down model to a collaborative approach, is how Production Manager, Clinton Sampson, describes the culture shift they set in motion. Clinton recalls staff who were reluctant to speak up or make decisions, would line up and wait for instructions outside the supervisor’s door where the buck stopped. “Supervisors were policemen, not managers”, he said. “There were limited reporting lines and a culture of staff not putting their hands up.”

Established in 1939, Huhtamaki Henderson Ltd has been manufacturing in Henderson, Auckland, since 1962. Around 320 staff work three separate shifts to produce products around the clock – for FMCG, pharmaceutical and similar industries – that require specific safety systems and externally certified hygiene standards.

Committed to being a supportive employer to its community of long-serving employees, Huhtamaki were considering training options for its culturally diverse team: 20 percent identify as Maori, 30 percent as Pasifika, and for many employees, English isn’t a first language.

Together with improving the company culture, Huhtamaki wanted to address some issues with communication, quality, and health and safety processes. Funding for a workplace literacy and numeracy programme was sought with training provider New Zealand Academic and Learning Institute (NZALI). “We insist that the companies we work with bring their management and front line supervisory staff to the table with workplace literacy and numeracy programmes,” says NZALI

Director, Nazli Effendi. “This is vital for the effectiveness and sustainability of the programme”.

That made sense to the Huhtamaki Henderson Management Team who agreed another layer of accountability was necessary for the shift supervisors to be truly effective. A group of ’emerging leaders’ was selected to support the supervisors and complete a tailored training programme with NZALI. Clinton has already observed some noticeable changes among the group, and Ivan Zhao, Learning and Development Co-ordinator, says trainees “Feel proud and recognised because of participating in the training”.

Frank, a Team Leader and ‘emerging leader’, says he has shifted his focus to empowering operators to take responsibility. “You’re the team leader of your machine!” he says, commenting on the noticeable results of better communication, and ‘above the line’ behaviour (ownership, accountability and responsibility). As operators are more proactive and communicative, the changeover process between shifts has become smoother, down-time has reduced, machinery has been made more efficient, and the product has become more profitable. “We’re using the training!”

Jandy, Inwards Goods Administrator, says she values the new cross-business perspective from ‘emerging leaders’, and the opportunity to think about things from the managers’ point of view. “We all need to interact, to see the whole picture.” John, another emerging leader, says the training has had a marked impact on his work and family life. “It changes the way you think and act as a person.”

Crucial to the success of the programme is the participation of senior management. This training is funded by the company as part of their commitment to the sustainability of the government-funded training. All levels of the company are exposed to similar training, developing and sharing a common language and mindset.

Mark, a Shift Supervisor, is working on his listening skills and enjoying the new conversations the programme has enabled across the company. In return, he is relishing the changes the programme has made with front-line supervisors, who now feel empowered to make decisions and no longer have to wait for Clinton’s ‘say-so’.

“There is a better atmosphere and we are seeing greater levels of diffused responsibility and ‘just-in-time’ decision-making,” says Clinton Sampson. “Staff are learning to work with what’s in their control and to use problem-solving techniques early in the process.”

This Eastern Bay Chamber initiative has enabled a co-ordinated and collaborative approach across sectors, and has enriched the conversation around literacy and numeracy in the workplace in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.

Enriching Literacy and Numeracy in the Eastern Bay of Plenty

The Eastern Bay Chamber of Commerce comprises a network of 210 business decision makers situated throughout the Eastern Bay of Plenty region. Gerard Casey, the Chamber’s CEO, is passionate about the role of these businesses in contributing to a thriving, high-value regional economy. Casey recognises the importance of a skilled workforce to achieving these goals, and to retaining and enhancing the lives of the region’s young people.

In August 2018, the Chamber began an initiative to raise awareness of the importance of literacy and numeracy. It took a pro-active approach across the Eastern Bay, including Edgecumbe, Kawerau, Opotiki and Whakatane, by providing information about the impact that literacy and numeracy can have in the workplace and at the same time presenting employers with an opportunity to access training and development opportunities that could address the issues that result.

Working in partnership with two providers who already work in the literacy and numeracy space in Whakatane, the Chamber arranged a lunch time information session for its members. The two providers who presented at the session were the New Zealand Academic and Learning Institute (NZALI), which delivered an Employer-led Literacy and Numeracy programme with the Whakatane-based Beacon Media Group, and the Eastbay Rural Education Activities Programme (Eastbay REAP), which is located in Whakatane and supports community learning in rural New Zealand.

This initiative provided Chamber members with an opportunity to become familiar with the workplace literacy and numeracy funding options available to them, and how a programme can assist in kickstarting a process of raising literacy and numeracy levels of their employees in order to improve business outcomes.

As a result of this initiative, three businesses responded by working together with NZALI to initiate a Consortium Employer-led Workplace Literacy and Numeracy programme. The consortium model allows two or more smaller businesses to ‘pool’ their eligible staff to access the funding. “It’s a great model that allows smaller businesses, especially in regional areas, to access the government funding that’s available,” says Skills Highway Programme Manager, Nicky Murray.

Kiri Carter, one of the owners of consortium member Superior Excavation, is “amazed” at the opportunity the consortium approach offers. Based in Whakatane, Superior Excavation is locally owned and operated by Leigh and Kiri Carter, who provide specialist earthmoving and contracting services across the Bay of Plenty since 2005. Business demands often mean there is limited time for professional development but health and safety has been a key driver for Superior Excavation’s involvement. “We want to invest in our people”, says Kiri, “and support them to take more ownership of health and safety across the business”.

Across the consortium, the members want to understand how better to organise and structure their workplace systems and processes to support and grow the literacy and numeracy needs of their employees. By working with NZALI, these employers will also be looking at how to develop their management and leadership expertise to ensure ongoing sustainability of programme outcomes.

Employees will also be encouraged to access further training through Eastbay REAP as they develop confidence as a result of the programme, thus growing opportunities for further learning at both the employer and employee levels.

The Chamber is already planning further activities, with a Workplace Training and Development presentation later in the year where the businesses who participated in the Consortium will share their experiences of the impact that building literacy and numeracy capability has had on their businesses. The Chamber’s ongoing work has been recognised with a Skills Highway Promotion and Awareness payment.

This Eastern Bay Chamber initiative has enabled a co-ordinated and collaborative approach across sectors, and has enriched the conversation around literacy and numeracy in the workplace in the Eastern Bay of Plenty.