Government announces apprenticeship support programme and targeted training and apprenticeship fund

The government has announced an Apprenticeship Support Programme targeted at initiatives that will help employers to retain and bring on new apprentices. This follows on from another announcement earlier this month that provides a 100% fee subsidy for qualifying vocational education programmes, including the electrical engineering and electronic sector.

These programmes will provide benefit to those security providers who have existing apprentices or are looking to employ new apprentices, and in particular the Apprentice Boost Initiative which will provide employers with support payments of up to $12,000 per first year apprentice and $6,000 per second year apprentice.

It is important to note however that whilst these programmes have been announced, the supporting documentation has yet to be provided and we understand that the funding will not be available until July for the Fee’s Free Initiative and August for the Apprenticeship Boost Initiative.

The NZSA will issue further guidance on qualifying for and accessing these initiatives as soon as the information becomes available.

From the NZSA team.

NZSA launches Good Practice Guidelines for Security Services in New Zealand

We are pleased to announce the launch of the Good Practice Guidelines for Security Services in New Zealand.

On the 18th November 2011 Security Officer Charanpreet Singh Dhaliwal commenced employment with CNE Security and was assigned to work at a construction site in Henderson. Tragically he was not to return home from his first night at his new job.

During the evening four offenders entered the site. Mr Dhaliwal confronted them and one of the offenders picked up a piece of wood and struck Mr Dhaliwal at least twice to the head. The cause of death was attributed to blunt force trauma.

The Coroner’s investigation into the death identified a number of industry issues around licensing and training and also highlighted the need for an industry-wide Code of Practice or Guideline as to what constitutes good practice. Whilst the licensing and training recommendations were implemented with some expediency, the development of the Guidelines was unfortunately deemed to be of low priority by WorkSafe (the agency tasked with development by the Coroner) and was never progressed.

Several years ago the NZSA and E tu raised this matter with WorkSafe but were advised that other industry sectors were of a higher priority and development of guidelines remained unlikely.

At this time the NZSA took ownership of the project and through the collaborative efforts of a number of security providers, the NZSA Board and E tu produced the document which is now available for all industry.

The NZSA is pleased to have led the development of this “across industry” guideline and to have provided a document that sets clear guidance for security operators, security workers and industry customers on what constitutes good practice for health and safety and operational compliance. We have received extremely positive feedback on the guidance from a range of stakeholders including our licensing authority, the PSPLA, who will refer all new company licence applications to the document, government agencies and a number of industry customers who have indicated they will build compliance with the guidance into their service contracts.

The NZSA furthermore dedicates the guideline document to Mr Dhaliwal, his family, and all other security officers who have suffered serious harm whilst performing their duties. It is our belief that this document will help in ensuring the improved health and safety of those working in the industry currently and in the future.

To download a copy of the Security Industry Good Practice Guideline please see the NZSA website.

From the NZSA team.