Hearing challenges aren't a barrier to success in the Civil Infrastructure Industry for one long-time Higgins Christchurch employee.
Michael Collett has worked in the Civil Industry for more than 25 years and has just achieved a New Zealand Certificate in Plant and Equipment Level 3 - his first ever industry qualification - through Connexis.
Connexis Customer Service Area Manager Southern, Fiona Malloch, says that Michael achieved this qualification through Recognition of Current Competence (RCC) and it is very well deserved.
"Michael is passionate about the Civil Industry and was highly motivated to achieve the qualification, which Higgins fully supported, providing sign language interpreters for his assessment. It truly was a highlight for me to assist Michael to reach his goal," she says.
Higgins representative Kingsley Hannah says “Having witnessed and assessed Mike on many machines, and spoken to lots of the guys about his work ethic and ability, it gives me great pleasure to have been able to help Mike to achieve a well-deserved qualification.”
Michael says achieving the qualification hasn't been easy, partly due to his hearing. "I'm proud of myself. At times it was difficult, but I got there thanks to the patience of my workmates that helped me along with my desire to be the best in the job!"
"I love driving diggers, it's my passion, and this award has made my challenges along the way all worth it," he adds.
Higgins is a one of the country's leading Civil Contracting companies employing over 1500 people specialising in the design, construction and maintenance of roads and infrastructure.
Demand for skilled civil infrastructure workers is high nationally, and despite work on the rebuild starting to wind down, the demand for qualified staff in Canterbury remains strong. In 2015 there were just over 9,000 people employed in the Civil Infrastructure sector in Canterbury region with a job growth rate of 7.3% between 2014 and 2015, while the total job growth rate for the region was 3.2% over the same period.
Michael Collett is presented with his certificate onsite by Higgins CEO David Geor (left) and Canterbury Regional Manager Maru Rout (right).