NZ Manufacturer February 2012
Ultimately, we wanted Nike to be the world’s best sports and fitness company. Once you say that, you have a focus
– Philip Knight, Nike
Skilled training graduates deserve recognition
ompleting a high-level qualification while working fulltime requires a lot of dedication, yet every year several thousand employees in industry achieve highly with little public fanfare. Companies supporting their employees through on-job training are equally dedicated, investing in lifting transferable skill levels throughout New Zealand industry. To recognise the efforts of learners and employers, industry training organisation Competenz has published and distributed a ‘Roll of Honour’ handbook. The handbook celebrates all graduates who completed Level 4 or higher qualifications in 2011 within the engineering, baking, and food and beverage manufacturing sectors that Competenz works with. A total of 846 graduates from 536 companies nationwide feature in the Roll of Honour. Graduates completed their national certificates in disciplines ranging from mechanical engineering, locksmithing, baking and fire protection apprenticeships, to competitive manufacturing, business first line management, quality management, rail operations
and maritime qualifications. It’s a small way of recognising the time and effort learners put into completing their training, and the role of employers providing employees support throughout their on-job and off-job learning. It’s a positive step toward meeting the skill gaps companies identified in research Competenz conducted last year on this issue. But according to the research, a further 3,600 skilled manufacturing workers will be needed by companies within these sectors by 2013.
Joint productivity study welcomed
usinessNZ and the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum have welcomed the announcement of joint work by the Productivity Commissions of New Zealand and Australia. An agreement of the joint cabinet meeting of the New Zealand and Australian Governments in Melbourne will see the two commissions working to develop options for further economic reform and integration. “This is a practical step forward and makes good sense,” said Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum Co-Chair Jonathan Ling. “Australia is not just our most important trade and investment partner – the health of the transTasman economy is essential for expanding growth and ensuring both Australia and New Zealand continue to ride out the wave of global economic instability”. The Australia-New Zealand Leadership Forum is supported by BusinessNZ. BusinessNZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly said obtaining economic alignment where it is in the interests of both countries is already improving the trans-Tasman business environment. “Achievements under CER and now the Single Economic Market programme have demonstrated the benefits of trans-Tasman www.nzmanufacturer.co.nz
harmonisation. “A number of other significant steps could be taken to facilitate capital raising, ease the approval process for investment and align financial market regulations and supervision. New Zealand business believes mutual recognition of franking and imputation credits would increase investment flows to the benefit of both countries”. Mr Ling said making further progress on the single market would be a focus of discussion at the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum meeting in Sydney on 12-13 April. “The Forum has always taken a long term view of the relationship. Our Sydney meeting will be an opportunity to discuss how to contribute to the Productivity Commissions’ study and the ongoing single market agenda.” Mr Ling highlighted measures to facilitate trans-Tasman travel. “We congratulate the two Governments on the progress made with SmartGate. Further extension of SmartGate technology particularly on departure from Australian airports and reductions in Australian international departure taxes would assist the ongoing effort to make flying between Australia and New Zealand a more domestic-like experience.”
The only sustainable way for companies to gain the skilled staff they need is to upskill even more of their current employees, or take on new staff to train to requirements.
“Training does require a big commitment, and industry training organisations like Competenz offer companies expertise in planning and training support to help meet their upskilling and business objectives, says Competenz acting chief executive, Fiona Kingsford.” Competenz’s annual alumni magazine - ‘The Guild’ – has also been published to coincide with the handbook’s release. This latest edition features the inspirational stories of nine 2011 graduates, each with an interesting perspective on what drove them to complete a qualification on the job. “These stories show that training positively impacts the lives and career prospects of people at all levels of work experience, and it’s never too late to get qualified in your field,” says Mrs Kingsford.
NZers decline holidays
ew Zealand business owners appear to be declining holidays so that they can support their businesses during these stressful and uncertain times. The Grant Thornton International Business Report (IBR) that surveyed 6,000 businesses worldwide, including New Zealand, showed that New Zealand had one of the biggest reductions in holidays taken by business people in the last year. In the last year the average number of days taken off by business people dropped from 18 to 13. Only Japan with a drop from 13 to five days off showed a greater change. In the survey New Zealand led the world in the percentage of business people struggling with this work / life balance at 21%, just ahead of Australia at 20% and well above the global average of 9%. The reduction in holidays could also be due to lower staffing levels in many businesses so that it is harder for employers to take a break. Another indicator of how New Zealanders struggle with the work/ life balance is that only 23% looked at better controlling the regularity of their hours worked compared with Australia 38%, United States 50%, United Kingdom 56% and Global 35%.. The survey revealed that global levels of stress felt by business leaders and owners have shown their
lowest annual increase since 2005, with New Zealand no exception. New Zealand businesses showed a 15% increase in stress levels in 2011, down on the 28% in 2010, 34% in 2009 and 36% in 2008. Globally there was a 28% increase in stress levels in 2011, down from 45% in 2010. Asia Pacific was the most stressed region with net 44% reporting an increase in stress over the past 12 months, but this too is down from 58% in 2010. Even in distressed Europe, where the focus of economic turbulence resides, the net increase in stress has declined from 40% in 2010 to 22% in 2011 BRIC/APAC countries are experiencing greater stress (43% and 44%), which is probably indicative of the ever-changing environment that these economies are facing due likely to the uncertainty arising from economic challenges in Europe leaving business owners wondering what the longer term impact will be on their business. For New Zealanders, playing sports and exercising emerged as the main way that business people dealt with stress with 80% of participants citing this as their key strategy. Finland 92% and Netherlands 86% were the only two countries ahead of New Zealand in this aspect. For Australia it was 65%, the United States 79% and the United Kingdom 68%. The global average was 62%.
NZ Manufacturer February 2012