The 100 letter notes: ‘We appreciate there are many highly skilled people with practical experience, self-taught skills, passion and the motivation to learn on the job if given the opportunity.’

“That’s very true,” says ServiceIQ chief executive Dean Minchington. “We applaud the recognition of this by the enlightened 100.

“But we’d like to add a postscript. Skills, attitudes, motivation and adaptability are indeed of great worth in landing a job. However, it is an organisation’s commitment to on-job training, especially that which leads to a recognised workplace qualification, that proves to their new employee that they are highly valued, their skills are recognised, and that their career progression matters. In many cases this recognition is also key to staff attraction and retention,” says Minchington.


“Tourism is New Zealand’s leading source of overseas income, yet it’s crying out for talented people. The same applies to hospitality and retail. An insistence on someone holding a tertiary qualification to land a job is madness. In many cases, having a tertiary qualification, pre-employment, is no guarantee of success in the role.”

Minchington says ServiceIQ is delighted to see that all of the organisations in its sectors that have signed the letter are already working with them to upskill and qualify their people on-job.

This year alone Countdown will recognise over 6500 of their staff by supporting them through New Zealand qualifications in partnership with ServiceIQ. A newly developed prospectus that details career pathways and associated qualifications was released at Countdown’s internal trade show earlier this month.

“Awarding staff with relevant qualifications is a key part of our community focus and part of professionalising retail as a career,” says Countdown General Manager Human Resources, Deborah Beegling.

Minchington wants others to follow Countdown’s example.

“We’re calling on the 100 – and all others that join the TalentNZ pledge – to also pledge themselves to upskilling their people like Countdown has, letting them earn and learn, and awarding them a real qualification, gained on the job. Let’s call this the QualifyNZ pledge,” he says.

“While the 100 signed to the TalentNZ pledge are mostly large employers, there is nothing to stop businesses of any size working with us to achieve the same thing. As the government-endorsed industry training organisation for the service sectors, the standard of upskilling is the same no matter the employer.

“In addition, as ServiceIQ receives funding from the Government to assist workplaces with qualification based training the cost of an on-job training programme or apprenticeship is minimal, and can even be free.

“Getting in touch with us to find out how we can help take a business to the next step is a no-brainer,” says Minchington.


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