Spencer Henshaw initiatives – safety, apprenticeship support and quality improvement

Read more about what Spencer Henshaw Ltd is doing to support their team to do their job.

Safety in the field – reversing cameras

reversing cameraAuckland-based Spencer Henshaw Limited (SHL) has a fleet of 90 vehicles and has recently installed reversing cameras in their entire fleet.

Managing Director Murray Stevenson says they got the idea from Barnard Plumbing, a contractor who installed reversing cameras in their vehicle fleet last year. Barnard Plumbing’s initiative featured in Contractor Connect last year.

Having reversing cameras is now part of SHL company policy when purchasing new vehicles. It’s an excellent initiative because it reduces the chance of an accident involving a small child when contractors are reversing while they’re at a Housing New Zealand property, Murray says.

Apprenticeship support

SHL Managing Director Murray StevensonWith a continuing shortage of tradesmen in Auckland, SHL has established a scheme to make it easier for their subbies to recruit and retain apprentices.

From 1 March 2018, SHL subcontractors can apply for a financial subsidy for every apprentice who is enrolled through the Tertiary Education Commission and carries out work on Housing New Zealand properties.

“This initiative came about when we talked to some of our subbies about the issues they face. We asked them to tell us how we could best support them to grow their pool of trade resources. They told us one of the biggest hurdles they continue to face is the financial commitment of taking on and training an apprentice.”

‘’When we heard this, we decided the best way for us to help them would be through subsidising the cost of apprenticeships,” Murray (pictured above) says, “and that’s how this initiative evolved.”

“We’re really excited about the potential this initiative presents and it’s great to now have it underway.”

Quality improvement

Spencer Henshaw trade librarySHL sees focused training as the best way to deliver ongoing and sustainable quality improvement. It’s especially important as they bring on new staff and contracting resources with no experience of Housing New Zealand standards and specifications.

To support this process, SHL has created a trades training library which covers the full suite of trades and clearly illustrates best practice guidelines, standards and specifications for staff and contractors. There are pictures showing good and bad work as practical examples so it’s clear what is and isn’t acceptable.

“So far 275 individuals have been through our trades training seminars web which are based around these manuals. Feedback from participants is very positive. They’ve told us they found the seminars really useful and the trades library and guidelines a great help.”

“This is certainly the result we’re after,” Murray says. It means we’re providing our staff and contractors with what they need when they’re out in the field working on Housing New Zealand properties.”

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