Ireland, often a source of skilled farm machinery operators for rural contractors in New Zealand, is facing even worse driver shortages than NZ.
A Rural Contractors New Zealand (RCNZ) board member and partner in the Matamata firm Slattery Contracting, Slattery has penetrated the ‘glass ceiling’ to be the industry’s first woman to gain a national certificate in infrastructure works supervision Level 5.
The qualification covers core management skills including scheduling infrastructure works project resources, health safety and environment, monitoring project quality assurance and documenting infrastructure works projects.
Specialist skills in civil plant management, civil works, pavement surfacing (multiple sites supervision), road marking, road works and rural contracting (management) can also be covered.
This qualification is achieved by working through unit standards and evidence required. Each unit is assessed by an industry-approved assessor.
“What Helen has achieved is not only great for her, but the whole rural contracting sector,” says RCNZ trainer/assessor Noel Blackwell.
He says he has evaluated many training achievements over the years as RCNZ’s trainer/assessor and found Slattery’s work professional and easy to assess the evidence she supplied.
“In this modern world of professional business, what Helen has achieved has put a sign out there that says, ‘Rural Contractors are professionals’,” Blackwell adds.
“Helen has led the way and I know there are other rural contractors who are doing many of the Connexis (the ITO for infrastructure industries) national certificates. This will help the rural contracting industry.”
Helen and husband Roger run Slattery Contracting in Matamata, which offers hay, silage, cultivation and other rural contracting services. She is also a board member of RCNZ.
RCNZ chief executive Roger Parton congratulated Slattery on her achievement and says it is a testament to her commitment to the sector to be the first woman in the rural contracting sector to gain a Level 5 Certificate.
“This goes to show that Helen is truly outstanding in her field and a role model to male and female rural contractors.”