12 November 2014

Nine Years of recognising the trades sector in the south

The Southland Times

Southland’s proven capability in the trades sector reflects the high quality training programmes available across the region.

In 2006, the Southland Chamber of Commerce introduced the Trade Qualification Recognition Dinner (TradeQual) event to recognise the importance of the trades industry in Southland, the contribution they provide to the economy and manufacturing in Southland.

Nine years on, the TradeQual event continues to grow, now recognising 25 trades and their graduates in Southland. Southern Directionz Career Consultant and TradeQual co-ordinator Dave McKissock says the awards evening held at the Ascot Park Hotel Complex is all about acknowledging the trade graduates who successfully gained their respective qualifications, as well as acknowledging the contribution and support the employers, relevant industry training organisations and training providers gave to the trade graduates during their respective apprenticeship. “It’s about recognising the efforts and commitment each individual has put into gaining their qualification. We also look to provide greater awareness of the careers in the trades sector, and how this career pathway can develop into further opportunities.”

This year, graduates trained in agriculture, automotive, building and construction industry, electrical industry, engineering, flooring, civil construction, plumbing, gas fitting and drain laying, and other industry-related trades. With approximately 70 graduates registered to date, and 320 people attending, TradeQual 14 is sure to be a great night. The doors will open at 6pm with guests being welcomed for pre-dinner drinks. At 6.45pm, guests will be welcomed by principal sponsor NZCU South’s CEO Tania Dickie. The opening mayoral remarks will also be presented by Gore District Mayor Tracy Hicks, followed by a talk from Southland Chamber of Commerce President Sean Woodward. At 7pm, each graduate will receive a certificate in recognition from the Southland Chamber of Commerce. These certificates will be presented to each graduate by the appropriate mayor of their region.

This year, new MPs Todd Barclay and Sarah Dowie of the Clutha Southland and Invercargill electorates, will be present. Guest speaker will be four-time winner of the Bathurst 1000, and Holden Racing Team member Greg Murphy. The evening will end with closing mayoral remarks from Mayor Tim Shadbolt. TradeQual could not be the success it is without the help and support of many dedicated sponsors.

A big thank you to the principal sponsor Credit Union South, platinum sponsor ILT, gold sponsor SIT, silver sponsors Community Trust of Southland, Southland Times, Southland Manufacturers Trust, bronze sponsors Alliance Group, Venture Southland, PowerNet, New Zealand Aluminium Smelter, EIS and our tireless event co-ordinator, Southern Directionz.

“The strength of the trade sector in Southland is contributed to by the wider community of employers, industry training organisations, training providers, families and the graduates themselves. Retaining these skills and capabilities in Southland is vital for our regional economy,” says Sarah Hannan, CEO Southland Chamber of Commerce.