about 2 months ago by AWF

Civil and construction career pathways with AWF

Civil And Construction Career Pathways   Feb2024

​AWF works with some of the largest civil and infrastructure companies in New Zealand. Including the big names you’ve seen around town, like Downer, Fulton Hogan, Higgins, and Ventia, to name but a few. These are the organisations that build and maintain the bridges, tunnels, dams, airports, water treatment and sewerage systems, and of course, our roads. It’s important work and meaningful to be a part of.

Our workforce

To be able to deliver this valuable work, civil companies require many people on the ground to deliver the project outcomes, at different times throughout the project which is where AWF come in. Infrastructure projects such as the Northern motorway may take years to complete but will come to an end eventually. As a result, many of the workers staffing these projects are not needed on a permanent basis. Civil and construction organisations look to us at AWF, to provide field employees across a huge variety of roles, to support them to get these wide-ranging projects underway, with various skill sets required at different stages of the project. Of course, the reality of this kind of infrastructure work is that once one project is completed, there is usually another one to take its place! Generally, there are many of these kinds of projects happening at one time.

​We work with a large pool of workers — our AWF field employees — who we assign to the various needs of our clients. This exciting sector provides opportunities for keen and enthusiastic workers who join AWF, to not only gain paid employment, but to learn and grow and build a career.

Unique benefits of temporary assignments

People who haven’t worked through a labour hire company like AWF may have questions about the employment contract, and what it means to be a field employee. We’ve actually written a whole blog about this which you can read here. Basically, you are not permanently employed, but working in temporary assignments does come with many unique benefits, which many of our field employees find useful. It boils down to flexibility, you get the days and hours of work that suit you, your whānau, and lifestyle commitments, and because we have 21 offices across New Zealand, the chances are, we can help you find work, wherever you are (and if you fancy a bit of travel too!). Unlike in other industries or businesses, the training opportunities we provide are specifically available for our field employees.

Investing in people like you

We’ve been in business for over 35 years, working with organisations across Aotearoa New Zealand, and we’ve been fortunate to have gained valuable insights into this fantastic sector. We’ve seen the industry evolving, and the way we find and look after the people that we supply to employers has evolved and changed too. One of the things we’ve learned along the way, is that young people looking to get into civil and construction work, benefit immensely from a bit of extra support. Providing this support, doing a good job for young New Zealanders, as well as a good job for our clients is a win-win.

​To this end, we have carefully shaped the way that we support our field employees, in order to give anyone who is enthusiastic and willing, the chance to be able to follow a pathway, and build a career in civil. Not everyone gets excited about roading, bridges and construction, but if you’re one of the people who does, and you’re looking for the right opportunity in 2024, this could be the career for you.

AWF Pathway options

We have mapped out an example of a couple of career pathway options — a sequence of education, training and experience that may be available to you while working and earning as a field employee for AWF, allowing you to grow and progress in the civil industry. Click here to view.​​

What background do I need?

There are options for any type of background, with multiple ‘stops’ along the way for each. In this blog, we are focusing on a pathway option for those people who don’t have any formal higher education.

The non-graduate pathway

It’s a stat that we are proud of: AWF provides job qualification training to an average of 1,800 people per year. Yes, that’s right, in 2023 alone, close to two thousand of our field employees obtained a recognised certification or assessment of industry knowledge and practices, while at the same time working and earning money.

Start here:

Before you even set foot on site, we take you through a thorough induction, onboarding and training process to make sure you are competent and comfortable to undertake the role. A critical element of this is health & safety training including Site Safe and Construct Safe to ensure the safety of you and those around you at work.

Is the Civil Crew for you?

Like many before you have done, you can begin your career in our civil crew – the backbone of so many of the essential infrastructure projects that we provide staff for across NZ. This is an excellent starting point, as you don’t need any special experience or educational background to start working as a civil field employee, all of your safety gear or Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is provided by AWF. Being reliable and having a positive attitude are the most important attributes. You’ll get to do a range of hands-on, physical mahi at our client sites while gaining valuable experience.

Or maybe Traffic Management?

An alternative start to your career pathway could be in traffic management, it really depends on what interests you?

Our field employees can go straight into traffic management roles without any experience as civil crew.

Making access easy, and removing cost barriers for young kiwis, AWF runs our own, fully approved, accredited Traffic Management training. It’s free for our field employees. With a focus on the entry-level positions of Temporary Traffic Management (TTM) and Traffic Management Operative (TMO), this comprehensive training provides our field employees with the knowledge and on-the-job learning to be able to safely do this essential job. Once you’ve achieved this level, there are further options to progress to complete the Site Traffic Management Supervisor (STMS) level.

A focus on safety

We also use external providers to train our field employees, supporting health & safety at work including:

  • Working at Heights

  • Elevated Work Platforms

  • Confined Spaces

Further down the path

Enjoying the journey? If you want to know what else is possible to add to your toolkit of skills, you’ll be pleased to hear that AWF invests heavily in adding to the competency (and employability) of our field employees with additional training and qualifications offered, including:

  • Forkhoist Certification (OSH Certificate, Reach, F Endorsement)

  • Wheels Tracks and Rollers Endorsements

  • Telescopic Handling

  • Dangerous Goods Endorsements

​Completing these types of training will provide you with the ability to move into machine operation, driving roles and beyond this, into site management.

Ready for more

Sometimes of course, there comes a time when temporary assignments are no longer the right fit. AWF is not just labour hire, when the time is right, we also transition many of our field employees into permanent roles with our civil and construction clients.

Working in civil and construction in New Zealand allows you to see the real, tangible impacts of the work you do, every day. If you are searching for a new direction and this sounds appealing to you, give your local AWF branch a call today.