Project - Predator Free New Zealand
Photo credit: PFNZ Trust
Predator Free Apprenticeship Programme
The Predator Free New Zealand Trust (PFNZ) is a private charitable organisation established to encourage, support, and connect New Zealanders in their efforts to control and remove introduced predators (including rats, possums, and mustelids) with the overall goal of restoring thriving native biodiversity.
Recently, the Department of Conservation announced $4.5 million Jobs for Nature funding that will supercharge Predator Free 2050 through an innovative apprentice scheme. The Predator Free Apprenticeship programme, designed and delivered by PFNZ, aims to increase the number of experienced predator control specialists by funding and training up to 50 apprentices across the country through partnerships with specialist pest control companies. Apprentices will be placed with experienced practitioners to undergo a two-year training programme with the aim of establishing a career in animal pest management.
Health and safety is integral to the success of the programme. To this end, Integrated Safety have partnered with the Trust and developed a comprehensive Project Safety Assurance Plan to ensure the programme is managed, delivered and monitored in a consistent and verifiably safe, transparent and controlled manner.
Employing apprentices carries significant responsibilities in terms of employment and workplace health and safety legislation. To ensure a consistent and informed approach, Integrated Safety developed a process to objectively assess and rank the health and safety management systems and practices of a wide range of pest control specialists throughout the country.
Key aspects of this process included:
Creation of comprehensive application process to ensure consistent data gathering
Peer-review of the selection process
Health and safety management system reviews for each of the pest control specialists
Comparative risk profiling to capture information on whether more inspection or oversight is required of their health and safety systems
Operational verification and auditing of their systems
Ongoing operational reporting procedures
Ongoing programme monitoring and review procedures.
As a result of this rigorous process, PFNZ has been able to confidently work with pest control specialists around the country. Integrated Safety continues to work alongside this programme to ensure PFNZ and pest control specialists understand their obligations and continue to provide high quality apprentice training in well-managed, healthy and safe work environments.