Thank you to all members who completed the February HERA survey on the questions: Should HERA Support a New Zealand Certificate in Mechanical Engineering Level 5 Program?

The 83 responses demonstrated great membership interest in the issue. And in summary there was an overwhelming positive response to the two main questions that our industry wants a working level 5 qualification and that HERA should be involved.

Where it becomes trickier is in the expected take up of potentially offered training by HERA and the scope of additional skills suggested to be covered.

Half of the respondents indicated that they have send staff to relevant HERA training and again about a half also indicated that they would send staff to HERA organised level 5 training. So per year HERA could plan for having around 40 attendees wanting level 5 courses additional to the current supervisor and welding inspection level 5 course offering.

However the response to the suggestion to list additional qualification showed that there are very divergent views on what is desirable and the many topics being desired would require an extensive course offering. Many suggested topic in both the management and technical skills area are standard items such as Health & Safety, Lean Manufacturing, Staff Management or Job Costing which are provided by established training providers including in the regions.

However there are key topics such as bolting, coating, welding knowledge extension such as into pressure equipment, other metals than steel which lend themselves to having HERA as training provider filling the gaps.

HERA has already started the discussion of your feedback at last month’s NZ Welding Centre Panel meeting where Competenz representation was also present. There is strong support for having an adequate level 5 qualification covering the heavy engineering sector, however the Panel is also mindful of the fact that maintaining such a qualification through HERA resources needs to be justified by good industry demand and cost recovery.

The outcome was that Competenz will consider developments of educational pathway under the Competenz management leading to New Zealand Certificate in Mechanical Engineering (Advanced) (Level 5) in cooperation with HERA as a partner.

As indicated in the last HERA News, the HERA Executive triggered this industry survey and it will be discussed at the March 9th meeting no doubt with great interest.

Update shared by our General Manager Welding Centre Dr Michail Karpenko