Alliance launches comprehensive training programme for staff

20 Dec 2018

Leading food and solutions company Alliance is making a substantial investment in training as it seeks to attract new employees and provide career opportunities for people working at the co-operative.

The company has recently launched a comprehensive programme that includes a bespoke training pathway that enables people to progress through bronze, silver, gold and platinum levels to attain New Zealand Meat Certificates in Meat Processing on the New Zealand Qualification Framework.

Development of the programme builds on the success of Alliance providing training in the Primary ITO New Zealand Certificate in Meat Processing at its Lorneville and Mataura plants in Southland. Alliance is also planning to offer training to those staff working in the engineering and maintenance areas at its plants.

The programme has been launched as the red meat sector faces substantial labour shortages.

Chris Selbie, General Manager People and Safety, Alliance, said each stage of the training pathway is completed through on-job training and assessment carried out in the workplace. About 1,000 people will receive training over the next 12 months.

“It recognises the skills our people bring to the workplace and benchmarks that to a nationally-recognised standard. Using practical on-job training gives our staff more tools for their jobs and there’s no having to study at home.

In addition to providing a pathway for its processing employees, supporting existing and emerging leaders is a key part of the Alliance approach to training.

Gloria Phillipson, recently took up the role of Assistant Supervisor at Mataura, after working as a Scales Operator in the plant’s beef boning room for 20 years. She is currently undertaking leadership training, working towards achieving a New Zealand Certificate in Business Level 3.

“As someone who is new to a leadership role, I am finding it really useful and applying the learnings to my everyday work,” said Gloria. “This is the first training I have done since leaving school, but I am really enjoying it. The important thing about the programme is that it gives everyone the opportunity to learn and gain a qualification on the job and encourages them to think about how they can progress their careers.”

Steve Turanga-Konui, a Senior Supervisor in the Beef Boning Room, is also doing the leadership training.

“It’s 25 years since I did any kind of training, but I went into it with an open mind,” he said. “I’m learning more about the different aspects of leadership – for instance, what we develop naturally and what needs to be learned.”

Tere Ngu, Acting Plant Manager at Mataura, said there had been an enthusiastic response to the programme.

“Some people here have not done any training since school up to 45 years ago so they may not have been sure about it at first. But we step them through the entire process and we are seeing people gaining in confidence as they go. Once they’ve tried it, they all want to know when the next lot of training will be.”

Alliance Chief Executive David Surveyor said: “This is a meaningful programme, which will benefit our people, the co-operative and our farmer shareholders. It will provide an opportunity for people to increase their range of skills so they can apply for other roles within our business and progress their careers in the red meat sector.

“We want Alliance to be an employer of choice in all the communities we operate in. It is vital that people, in every area of our business, have opportunities. Our people come away with a formal qualification that will help them wherever their career takes them.

“Upskilling is particularly important as we continue our significant investment in our plants. We have assessed the training needs across our plants to help us to design and implement new training modules. Programmes will include ‘on-the-job-training’, ‘first-line leadership training’ and ‘trades training.’”

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