Staff the greatest asset for SouthRoads

Staff the greatest asset for SouthRoads
SouthRoads operates eight major roading and asset management contracts across Otago and Southland.

When SouthRoads new general manager Dean Elder started as a truck driver for the company he did not envisage where his job would ultimately lead him.
Consequently Dean is passionate about focusing on the company’s staff as its greatest asset, despite areas of the business that could potentially take greater precedence.
“We want to be known as the employer of choice and to really concentrate on offering personal growth and training in roles,” Dean says. “Probably I’m a good example of that.
I started as a truck driver nearly 15 years ago.” While completing his diploma in civil engineering part-time he worked in many roles, gaining valuable, practical experience along the way.
“For us it’s about inspiring people, attracting people that are the right people coming to work for us and to offer training plans, whether for a trade, or to progress into a management role.”
While Dean’s heart was initially set on driving vehicles when he first left school, he realised he needed to commit to completing a qualification in either a trade or civil engineering in order to further himself. “I wanted to seek an employer that would back me into the future and that’s what South Roads has definitely done.”
Dean’s experience mirrors that of others in management positions who have also worked through the ranks. “They’ve got a wealth of knowledge and experience in the industry; they’ve come through the trades as well.
“We are also actively recruiting civil (engineering) cadets either as school leavers or after completing tertiary education, offering scholarships and the opportunity to gain trade qualifications. We put 20plus people through recognised industry qualifications per year.”
Headquartered in Invercargill, SouthRoads is part of H W Richardson Group, (HWR) New Zealand’s largest privately owned transport company. “We have one of the most modern and reliable construction fleets in New Zealand.”
During the past 10 years staff numbers have tripled from less than 100 to nearly 300 and the business has expanded into Otago, Central Otago and North Otago.
It is best known as a specialist in roading and site development, earthworks and civil engineering related work, from small residential jobs to large scale roading projects, and infrastructure development across various sectors.
SouthRoads operates eight major roading and asset management contracts across Otago and Southland for various clients including NZTA, Southland District Council, Clutha District Council and Waitaki district Council. It also undertakes Clutha District Council greenspace contracts covering parks and utilities.

Staff the greatest asset for SouthRoads
Invercargill based SouthRoads specialises in roading, site development, earthworks and civil engineering projects.

 
In addition it is responsible for 3 Waters contracts for Waitaki District Council which includes managing and maintaining sewer ponds and reservoirs and carrying out repairs and replacement works on underground infrastructure. The quality of its work is backed by an AS/NZS ISO 9002 accreditation.
SouthRoads is totally committed to maintaining this standard, and works closely with all suppliers, sub-contractors and clients to refine and improve its Quality Assurance Systems.
“We have also developed a really strong safety culture. It is, for us, about getting people home safely every night and good safety is good business. Through continual reporting we’ve been able to identify our critical risk areas.” The company is a member of The Road Engineering Association Of Asia And Australasia, (REAAA)
“For us it’s about inspiring people, attracting people that are the right people coming to work for us and to offer training plans, whether for a trade, or to progress into a management role.” an association of people and organisations with a common interest in the science and advancement of road engineering.
Mid-year, SouthRoads was “flat tack” completing existing contracts needing to be finished prior to winter “About 50% of our work load is split between the roading asset management projects for councils and the NZTA, versus private commercial development.”
Because it is part of HWR, SouthRoads has the advantage of being able to call on resources, including staff, during peak periods.
“HWR Group has the best part of 1500 trucks throughout New Zealand across multiple companies.
“When required we can call on our sister companies for support, or alternatively locally based companies in the regions we work.”
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