Steel fixers to benefit from new micro-credential

Waihanga Ara Rau, the Workforce Development Council for Construction and Infrastructure is pleased to announce the development of its first micro-credential in partnership with industry experts.

Steel Fixing

Not only is this a first for Waihanga Ara Rau, but this is also the first time that specialist skills and work that steel fixers do will be formally recognised. This micro-credential will be registered on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework and creates the perfect opportunity for steel fixers to get an entry-level formal record of the skills they learn on the job. This will enable them to progress onto higher level learning.

Waihanga Ara Rau thanks members of the Steel Fixing Technical Advisory Group for their incredible mahi that helped bring this to fruition. This group of experts shared their experience and knowledge of their trade at Technical Advisory Group meetings.

Mark Hammond, a Director of Dellta Contractors, says, “Joining the Technical Advisory Group to work on this development was an extremely valuable experience. The collaboration has given us assurance that the objectives and content of the Steel Fixing micro-credential are in line with what we look for knowledge-wise from potential employees. Having a micro-credential is going to contribute to solving the labour shortage. It’s difficult for businesses when it comes to delivering training that has no formal outcome - we can invest a lot of supervisors’ time into training people, and then our businesses may not retain those people we’ve invested in, as they view an apprenticeship (building, plumbing, electrical etc) as more professional and therefore more desirable for their career progression.

“In time, we hope the micro-credential will lead to the development of full qualification to give our industry a higher profile and more mana so we can better attract people into the workforce. This will help get steel fixing ‘on the map’ as a viable career option. Not many people realise that steel fixing is a viable career option, and this is evidenced when we are hiring. For example, many job candidates we meet have worked in scaffolding at some stage and they have no idea that steel fixing is a legitimate job even though the aptitude and background of workers in both industries are similar.

“I enjoyed being a part of this project. Everyone in the group was engaged, available, motivated, and committed to achieving great outcomes. I look forward to marketing this micro-credential to our existing staff and newcomers as soon as it’s available to enrol in. Steel Fixing is a young person's game due to the physicality, so it’s a fantastic starting point for school leavers who can then move into project management, steel yard management, precast management and/or steel detailing as part of their career development. Having a micro-credential specifically for steel fixing is going to help encourage newcomers to the trade.”