Your workforce development needs get a listening ear

22 November 2016

Have you heard about SAGs and what they can do for you?

The Competenz Sector Advisory Group (SAG) was reinvigorated just over a year ago. Today it’s providing a direct channel for feedback in the ever-evolving area of industry skills training.

SAGs are made up of industry’s key players and decision makers, and are perfectly placed to give Competenz an industry-eye view. Because of this, SAGs are actively leading the way in building up the ‘big picture’ in each sector, and deciding the strategic direction for skills training over the medium- to long-term.

“The SAGs are our conduit to industry, highlighting current trends and spotting the areas where skills and knowledge are going to be required in the future,” says Competenz Industry Manager, Peter Ferguson.

Passing information both ways, SAG members are training advocates and promoters as well as giving a voice to the issues that need to be heard. SAGs have a major influence in the maintenance and development of industry training.

Current SAG members were recruited as a direct result of the Targeted Review of Qualifications (TRoQ) process, or nominated by industry organisations in each sector. SAG members are passionate about the future, committed and willing to lead from the front. In the last 12 months, SAG members have stepped up for awareness and recruitment events, and fed vital intel to the Competenz team as trusted advisors.

In 2017, the aim is for each industry sector to have its own autonomous SAG member. 

This month’s focus - Refrigeration, Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning

Two of the first areas out of the gate with fully-recruited and operational Group are Refrigeration & Air Conditioning and Mechanical Building Service (HVAC). 

Supported by their industry organisations, IRHACE and CCCA (who are also represented on the SAG), they’re already involved in schools and looking at new approaches to getting young people interested in entering their industries.  

Everyone agrees that the biggest issue on the table is training people to recognisable and consistent standards, and the two SAGs are actively looking for areas where education and industry can collaborate and work together.  That means training the existing workforce as well as making apprenticeship attractive to school-leavers.

SAG members were central to the Got a Trade? Got It Made! Week bus tour, which opens doors to prospective apprentices in school and community settings.

As part of Earn and Learn in Christchurch, members met with students to make sure they knew about the advantages of a career in industry. SAG members have also been instrumental in helping Competenz to identify the next tier of local and national companies to involve in industry training. In addition, SAG members made their desire to take part in the Productivity Commission review of tertiary education very clear.

Members are also contributing to our understanding of why people stop apprenticeships. Competenz, SAG members, IRHACE and CCCA will use the information to build-in support to retain apprentices, engage with schools to identify and recruit the best calibre of apprentice, and to make sure our training gives the highest quality outcomes for apprentices.

Competenz is delighted with the SAG’s success in its first year post-TRoQ.  “Our role is to respond to industry sector training needs,” says Peter Ferguson, “and the SAGs will be the front line when it comes to those formal conversations with key stakeholders. Industry speaks, and we listen. So the future of industry training is looking bright.”

Interested in becoming a SAG member for your industry?  

Contact Peter Ferguson about joining your Group and making a real difference to training in your sector.

Phone:09 524 3123

Mobile: 027 243 7365

SAG contact details:

Refrigeration & Air Conditioning and Mechanical Building Services SAG Members





Craig Duff (Chairman)

Active Refrigeration Ltd

03 339 2617

Deirdre Johns

EcoChill Ltd

03 385 0125

Lance Fry

McAlpine Hussmann

09 526 6800

Cameron Crawford

Chillex Maintenance Ltd

09 633 4072

Jarrod Harris

Thermal Solutions Ltd

09 426 0332

Darren Judd

JUDD Refrigeration

06 358 0896

Scott Klem

Hawkes Bay Refrigeration Ltd

06 878 8002

Grant Price

Heatwave Mechanical Services

09 818 9666

Paul Shaw

Smooth Air Products

09 579 3257

Paul Sturrock

Sturrock & Greenwood

03 546 9219

Matt Allfree


09 273 0044

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