Ali Arc Industries manufactures quality vehicle accessories for trucks and light commercial vehicles. The company is one of the many Whanganui-based businesses owned by Bartley Group Holdings. Being a family-owned business, people come first and the team are treated like family. In return, the business is rewarded with a long-standing workforce. Ali Arc also works hard to ensure all employees are given the opportunity to do work-based training.
General Manager Haig Elgar has been part of the Ali Arc team for over 11 years. Haig is passionate about training people and enjoys seeing them gain confidence and pride in their work as the theory and practical come together. In his time with the company, he estimates that he has seen at least 30 staff gain qualifications.
“We are specialists in designing, manufacturing and installing vehicle accessories but we don’t have robots, we have skilled people.”
Pio Feite joined the Ali Arc team early this year as a sander and polisher. His previous job experience included engineering and welding positions, along with a stint as a roofing contractor. After an accident that saw Pio lose his finger, and a bout of mental illness that followed, Pio was forced to take a few years off. At the end of an eight-year journey to return to full health, Pio was keen to get back into work in the engineering industry.
With an understanding of his health issues, Ali Arc agreed to support Pio by giving him regular time out of the workshop for medical appointments. Haig reiterates their focus on ensuring a safe and wellbeing-first work environment for all staff.
“Ali Arc pride ourselves on having good ergonomic practices. We customise every workstation for the individual and we ensure personal protective equipment (PPE) is correctly fitted. So, while his gear is bespoke, we haven’t done anything out of the ordinary to set up Pio for work.”
Now in his new position at Ali Arc, Pio feels ‘back on his feet’. He has recently signed up and is working towards a New Zealand Certificate in Manufacturing (Level 2).
Pio has a positive focus and looks forward to each day at Ali Arc. “No two days are the same here, I enjoy the variety. There’s always something different happening and it’s a good feeling to be working towards getting the qualification.”
While Pio is only starting out on his journey to gain his New Zealand Certificate in Manufacturing, Haig has already seen some significant and fundamental improvements in his performance.
“I can see Pio is working safely, and I know that by having completed some of the theoretical Competenz training, Pio now has a far better understanding of why and how we do things the way we do.”
“Competenz delivers robust training modules that cater for all learners, disabled or not; and as an employer this is what I need.”
Pio enjoys the family environment that Ali Arc works hard to nurture, along with being part of team meetings that provide interesting updates – and sometimes lunches. He recognises the valuable support he needs from both his family and Ali Arc.
“Work colleagues are supportive and approachable, showing me better, easier or new ways to complete tasks,” says Pio.
To address our skills shortage NZ’s employers must broaden thinking about who is targeted for vocational education and training and how we train them.
Sulia Pepa discovered her love for carpentry during woodwork classes, and it’s a trade she continued to study before discovering a new passion – HVAC.