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A commitment to on-job training has proved to be a winning formula for Living Earth, Christchurch’s state of the art composting facility, with the first ever presentation of the National Certificate in Composting. Sue Winter, who manages the composting contract for the Christchurch City Council, was presented with her National Certificate by National MP Nicky Wagner, at a special ceremony at the Bromley Living Earth site. The presentation was attended by colleagues from the Council, Living Earth and EXITO, the standard setting body for on-job training in the Resource Recovery Sector.
“I am really pleased to see composting skills as part of a national standard. As we move towards a more low carbon, environmentally friendly and sustainable world, there is a real opportunity for green businesses and Living Earth is a great role model for the future” said Nicky Wagner, who also chairs the Bluegreens Caucus Committee.
The National Certificate in Composting is part of a suite of qualifications that has been introduced to bring vital skills to the workforce and provide defined career pathways. Qualifications are achieved in the workplace through on-job training which means employees are learning while they are earning. “As the standard setting body for the composting industry, EXITO looks forward to many more national certificate successes having a positive impact on the commercial composting industry” said Peter Fowler, EXITO’s Resources Industry Manager.
“This is an important milestone for the industry” said Graham Burt, EXITO’s Training Advisor, “as an agricultural economy, it’s vital that we develop a highly skilled workforce so that commercial composting becomes a sustainable alternative to chemical fertilizers. Living Earth is building competitive advantage by developing the skills of its people”.
It’s an investment that seems to be paying off. “We’ve just landed a single order for 5000 tons of compost which is a real boost for us” said Lance Flack, Manager of Living Earth, “and I think we’ll see more of the same over the next couple of months, as farmers look to capitalise on the extra growth opportunity for their grass by feeding with compost after the spring flush.”
A number of Living Earth employees are also set to follow in Sue’s successful footsteps, having also enrolled in the National Certificate in Composting, while site supervisor, Emmanuel Sithole, has also broken new ground to become the first EXITO Technical Verifier for the composting industry.
The Living Earth facility opened in March 2009 to convert the green waste of Christchurch residents into organic weed-free compost which will improve the soil quality and plant growth of Canterbury’s strong rural sector.
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