A fresh approach to training

We’re serious about developing and investing in our people to build their capabilities and improve performance and safety.

Training our staff forms a section of the people pillar that supports our regeneration.

This year we’ve been focused on training that equips people with the skills and certification they need to keep pace with the new operations and technology we have on port.

“Rail onto Port was a huge piece of training work, as there are lots of different moving parts. New reach stackers meant new training for the drivers, we trained the yardmen who work the barrier arms and the staff who manage the movement of containers – it was quite a big process.”

– Natasha Bennet, Learning and Development Consultant

Twelve of our cargo handlers have also graduated with MITO Heavy Machinery Operations certificates, and we’ve provided ongoing training refreshers to cargo handlers to ensure up-to-date licences and compliance certificates. Stevedores are given training linked to NZQA standards.

New ways of learning

CentrePort recognises that people have different learning styles and levels of literacy and numeracy, and that we need to adapt traditional training to make it effective.

We’ve introduced more visually based online learning for our people, including the use of virtual reality and video, which has been well received. For example, one of our training resources has been changed from a 60-page manual to four bite-sized online learning modules.

Online learning has the added benefit of being available anywhere, anytime, so can be delivered more efficiently too.

“Many of our people enjoy and thrive on visual rather than paper-based learning. It’s more exciting. Instead of being uncomfortable about learning and even trying to get out of it, we can see that staff are embracing it.”

– Murray Julian, GM People, Safety and Culture

Health and safety training

On the health and safety front, CentrePort has development opportunities ranging from training for health and safety reps and advisers to management training. We’re also supporting one staff member to study for her Graduate Diploma of Accident Investigation at Central Queensland University, which will give our business a level of capability in investigations that we’ve never had before.

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Focus on accident investigation

Ruth Parris is a Health and Safety Advisor at CentrePort and is nearing the end of her two-year Graduate Diploma of Accident Investigation.

“I’m studying through the Central Queensland University in Australia, which has the second-largest safety school in the world. The training I’m doing looks at accident forensics, which is about focusing on systems and understanding the complexity of incidents.

It’s not about people and blame – it’s about looking wider and understanding the bigger picture of an accident or situation.

I’m learning how to find and recognise the factors that lead to an accident or situation – they could include something that was done or set up 20 years earlier. This type of study really clicks with me.

I’ve completed most of the diploma online, but I’ve had to go to Australia a few times for the residential portions, which is the practical component of the course.

There are five others doing the diploma course and I’m the only Kiwi this year. I’m a Health and Safety Adviser but the other members of my class are in varied roles such as police officer, safety assurance leader for an airline, and serious crash investigator.

Something I’ve decided to continue studying is fatigue risk management. Learning about the impacts of tiredness has changed how I look at situations when something hasn’t gone according to plan. It’s also affected how I look at day-to-day situations and causes.

My role at CentrePort is to support others to do their jobs safely and help them when they need it. This study has given me a new perspective and will help me do a better job.”