The skilled people responsible for road work sites will have more recognition to look forward to, thanks to a new industry group established to align temporary traffic control training with formal qualifications through the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF).
The Temporary Traffic Management (TTM) Credential Framework Governance Group is leading a project to create a TTM Credential Framework that aligns with both industry training practices and nationally recognised qualifications.
Civil Contractors New Zealand Technical Manager Stacy Goldsworthy has been selected by industry to chair the 14-person governance group.
Mr Goldsworthy said workers on the roading network played a vital role, but often went unrecognised due to a disconnect between training and the formal qualifications framework.
He said the recent WorkSafe publication, Keeping Healthy and Safe While Working on the Road or Roadside outlined new principles on how temporary traffic management should be procured and delivered, with the health, safety and wellbeing of workers and road users at the centre.
The WorkSafe guidance provided a view of delivering road works in a way that prioritised workers. As a result, the industry was responding to ensure people were kept safe and their wellbeing was considered, he said.
“For a long time now, the work traffic management staff do around road work sites has been under-appreciated. But keeping people safe is important work, so this has to change. These are skilled people who deserve recognition for their work and long-term career prospects.
“Industry has established this group to develop better training pathways and nationally recognised qualifications based on training and competency requirements. This will mean better training pathways, better recognition of skills, and better results on road work sites.”
He said temporary traffic controllers work in the live road corridor to ensure traffic moves smoothly and safely around temporary works like road resurfacing and repairs, with complex responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.
While supporting guidance on managing and laying out road work sites was available from WorkSafe, Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency and CCNZ, workers faced many hazards in their work, including abuse from drivers and members of the public, Mr Goldsworthy said.
The governance group formed following indications from Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency that it will withdraw the current warrant card training model in time, and industry is best positioned to manage the training and competency of its people.
The group was established in November, operates under a constitution, and will be the primary point of contact for decision making, supporting the Waihanga Ara Rau Construction and Infrastructure Workforce Development Council’s processes and the work of the Waihanga Ara Rau TTM Consultation Group.
Once the credential framework is drafted by the group, it will be submitted to stakeholders and Waihanga Ara Rau for wider consultation, then alignment with NZQF.
Mr Goldsworthy said he was looking forward to working with Waihanga Ara Rau and the wider industry in the new year to make positive change for the industry and its skilled road workers.