b'A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWNTraining & immigration labour and a little bit of material as well.Weve become so much more aware of thatD&H Steel is passionate about training people,in the last 10-15 years.a claim that a look through the office andMike firmly believes that relying on workshop will confirm. There are a lot ofimmigration has had a detrimental effect on young, highly competent people in a varietytraining in the industry. It goes back to when of roles who have been with the companythe Ministry of Works, New Zealand Railways for some time. It reflects the companysand New Zealand Electricity Department were preference to grow from within. dismantled. When the government of the day Mike Sullivan notes the struggle ofprivatised all of those entities, we didnt realise recruiting someone with experience into thethat what they were actually dismantling were business from outside. We have to bring themthe training grounds. into our culture and it takes time for them to The reality was that those entities were adjust so we are really big on training.feeding all of the trades and the engineers D&H has been training now for 20 years, into the wider market. When that source dried 10 years intensively, and its seeing theup, the industry made no move to replace benefits of that today. Its just time in theit with its own training schemes and a void saddle, says Mike. At any one time, thedeveloped. More recently, private industry has company typically has about 10 apprenticesgradually begun to train but its been clouded and cadets on the go, training across theby rampant immigration. board.Mike concedes that sourcing some During the GFC, D&H worked hard toemployees from offshore is necessary in a avoid laying people off. Instead, recognisinggrowing market because the local industry that people can continue to grow and train, thecant solve the skills shortage without it. But company diverted people into different areas. he argues that it shouldnt be at the wholesale At the end of the day, this business is all aboutlevels the country has seen.Apprentices Jacob Broad (left)the people, says Wayne Carson. We sell and Faapaee (Junior) Faamausili (right) being coached by Senior Fabricator Abdul Munif.114'