Training course raises bar for fencing
Fencing Contractors Association NZ (FCANZ) has been encouraging and developing professionalism and the highest standards of fencing in New Zealand since it was established in February 2006.
FCANZ president Mike Billinghurst says part of that drive includes training its members and their staff to industry best practice levels, so everyone in the industry is providing high quality workmanship to the same standards.
In conjunction with NorthTec and Primary ITO, FCANZ has developed the New Zealand Certificate in Fencing Level 3, a 35 week course which will give its graduates the skills and knowledge required to be employed as rural fencers, or in a rural enterprise in a role with responsibility for the construction and maintenance of electric and nonelectric rural fences.
New Zealand’s fencing industry has been without a training course since 2015. “We’ve been struggling to find someone to take that over for three years,” Mike says.
“18 months ago, we partnered with NorthTec. They were looking outside the box and they knew there was a need for it.”
18 months in the making, the course becoming a reality was down to funding. FCANZ has now funded the first 15 students through the course at a cost of $1500 per student.
Employers will still need to pay their staff for the time they are completing the block course work at NorthTec in Hamilton, and in some cases their accommodation as well, but Mike says the cost is minimal compared to what it would have been without FCANZ’s input.
FCANZ has Wiremark as a strategic partner as well as six gold-level partners, Cyclone, Gallagher, Waratah, Steel & Tube, PermaPine, and Mahindra, who are all helping to make New Zealand Certifi cate in Fencing Level 3 possible.
“The block courses are being held at Gallagher’s head office where there are facilities to do the practical examinations as well as a boardroom for the classroom material,” Mike says.
“In the first instance, the employer will be the trainer, then we have been very fortunate to have teaching our block courses Shane Bouskil, four time Golden Pliers national fencing champion.”
Graduates of the New Zealand Certificate in Fencing Level 3 could potentially work their way up to the Level 5 course next year.
The 2018 FCANZ Conference and AGM will be held in Tauranga from July 26 to 29. This year’s theme is Sustaining Health, Business and People, and includes a line up of top quality speakers including Resilient Farmer Doug Avery, founder of The Healthy Thinking Institute Dr Tom Mulholland, and physiotherapist Barbara Bryant.
Other points of interest include a look into the kiwifruit industry, strongly represented in the Bay of Plenty.
Viewing some of the structures that go in to kiwifruit orchards and support a major primary sector, which Mike says will be interesting from a contractor’s perspective.
The three day event is available for any FCANZ member, or non-member who wished to pay their fees, and includes a combination of business and fun activities, including a harbour boat cruise, Grand Prix carting competition, fencing competitions, ladies long lunch, Mount tours and much more.
There will be a bit of competition between the North and South Islands, and as usual a fantastic group of delegates to network and socialise with.
This article was brought to you in association with the following businesses…