Industry Training Awards
Friday 18 May 2007
Good Evening and welcome
- Members of parliament.
- Hon Lianne Dalziel MP
- Hon Jim Anderton MP
- Ruma Karaitiana, BCTO, CEO
- Rebecca Bailey, BC ITO Apprentice
- ITO representatives.
A special welcome to the Apprentices and Industry Trainees, family and friends, employers and invited guests.
My thanks to Nga Hau E wha Marae for their Powhiri.
As a mechanic’s son and an old tech boy, it gives me great pleasure to help host tonight’s event which is about real jobs in the real economy.
I always feel that I had completed my apprenticeship as a mechanic by the time I finished school. Working alongside my father, I learnt lots of skills which have stood me in good stead as I built my Chrysler special from scratch.
My accountancy qualification has given me my bread and butter, but it is my mechanical skills that have given me the most pleasure.
The trades, and trade training, plays a huge part in developing and building leading edge technologies that will future proof our city.
All great cities are built on the work of its trades people.
Today in Christchurch there are four hotels being built or being planned. Construction of the ocean outfall pipeline has started, Pegasus Town is being built, there are plans on the table to increase the seating at Jade Stadium and Council is looking to find a new home for the Civic Offices.
All these projects provide an exciting opportunity for the world to see what Christchurch can deliver. Many of you receiving awards tonight will be using your skills to make sure these projects are of a high standard and come in on time.
Time and again when I speak to business leaders the issue of skills comes to the fore. Employers, need employees with good skills in technology, numeracy, building, machining, joinery, you name it employers want it. Tonight you are proving that you have those skills.
The bad news is that this is just the start. Technology is moving so fast you will find yourselves on a lifetime of learning. Employers also want employees who have the capacity to acquire those skills where they do not already have them at every stage in their working lives.
Every year there are great stories about our trainess. Tonight I would like to tell you about Mike Penny, a Christchurch Apprentice, with Gough Gough and Hamer Ltd. Mike recently competed at the annual Caterpillar Top Apprentice program held in Melbourne back in March. This is a competition against the best Caterpillar apprentices in Australasia. Mike has done Canterbury and himself proud by winning this elite award.
His reward is a flight to the home of Caterpillar in Illinois, USA. There he will attend their training course of his choice and tour Caterpillar’s manufacturing facilities as a VIP guest for two weeks. Goughs are very proud of Mike’s achievement and so they should be. Mike’s story proves that Canterbury does produce some of the best trades-people in the world.
You don’t become a tradesperson overnight, but with a trade certification many different doors are open to you. In the future if you want a change of scenery you can always become a contractor, consultant, inspector or college instructor. A career in trades is one that allows for freedom and flexibility throughout the lifecycle of your employment.
Part of my focus as Mayor has been to initiate projects that make sure Christchurch is a prosperous city and one where there are jobs for all. I know some of you will go overseas but it is my hope that you will eventually come home to Christchurch and bring your skills with you.
Tonight is a time of celebration when we recognise and applaud your success. My best wishes to you all for a great future.