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A cohort of staff are set to upskill thanks to their employer, Kilmarnock Enterprises, who see their employees as having a range of abilities, rather than disabilities.

The five workers are embarking on their own journey of learning with support from industry training organisation, Careerforce.

Creating employment opportunities for people with disabilities

Kilmarnock Enterprises is a leading social enterprise in Ōtautahi/Christchurch, focused on creating employment and opportunities for Kiwis with disabilities. The organisation believes that meaningful employment can be the key to a purposeful life.

Team from left to right: Amani, Tania, Robert and Daniel. (Allison also in group, is not shown in photo)

Kilmarnock’s HR, Training and Wellness Manager, Marionette Chaney says, “We respect and cater to a diverse range of abilities to ensure that everyone has the best possible chance of success.

“We take great pride in our welcoming and inclusive workplace culture. Through training, social development, our health and wellbeing programmes, and ongoing support, we show our team their value and give them the confidence and skills they need for success.”

In conjunction with its commercial operations, the organisation offers its Kilmarnock Academy programme. The Academy facilitates learning, growth, and discovery for employees at Kilmarnock. They offer training in a range of areas to enable transition into further employment opportunities. Many of their graduates subsequently have gained NZQA qualifications in numeracy, literacy, communications, and practical workplace skills.

Gaining a nationally recognised cleaning qualification

In collaboration with Careerforce, the Kilmarnock Academy has commenced offering Careerforce’s New Zealand Certificate in Cleaning (Level 2) programme. The five Kilmarnock employees enrolled in this programme for 2022 are completing practical on the job training in Kilmarnock’s purpose-built factory.  They also attend two hours of classroom training per week. On successful completion of the training, participants will receive a nationally recognised NZQA qualification.

The New Zealand Certificate in Cleaning (Level 2) is ideal for cleaners in commercial, residential, health and domestic workplaces. The programme aims to encourage safe work practises, and develop skills related to cleaning effectively and efficiently.

Marionette says, “We saw this opportunity to formalise and strengthen our employee’s cleaning skills as increasingly important; particularly in the current Covid-19 climate. We also believe this opportunity is beneficial in upskilling our enrolled employees to provide them with the ability to seek employment opportunities outside of Kilmarnock, should they wish to do so.

“Kilmarnock Enterprises is extremely pleased to be collaborating with Careerforce to offer this training opportunity to our employees. We’re excited to follow the 2022 cohort of trainees on their learning journey.”

More information

Enrolment in Careerforce’s cleaning qualification programmes remains free through to the end of December 2022, courtesy of the Government’s Targeted Training & Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF).

Find out more about fully funded cleaning programmes.