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Husband and wife fencing team leading by example

While we’ve been busy running our business that we started in 2018, it has always been one of our goals to work towards becoming Accredited Fencing Contractors’ through FCANZ.  Last year, the September intake for the Certificate in Fencing (Level 3) course started in Karapiro, near Cambridge.  

We decided that this was our opportunity to get ourselves involved, and also offer this opportunity to our staff. So, before we knew it, we were enrolled with NorthTec Te Pukenga. Over the next 35 weeks, we then worked towards getting our qualifications.  

While some of you would think that it’s a risky game fencing with your husband, we actually work quite well together. In the early days, I struggled to even put on an insulator, but these days, I can just about do it in my sleep. So, it was very natural to decide to complete the fencing course together. It has its advantages as you can assist each other with taking photo/video evidence of each other’s work, and you can also plan who is taking the lead on what jobs to ensure that you document all the evidence required. 

Our written bookwork was a different story. We would often complete bookwork at the same time and share differing opinions on what the answer was, discussing where the other found the information for their answer. Doing the course has provided me with access to some excellent resources for when future staff complete the course. I printed the Power Fence Systems manual from the Gallagher website, as well as ordered a hard copy of the Fencing the Proven Way manual from WIREMARK®. I’m glad I did print these guides off, as we had a computer glitch and all our digital bookwork was lost, so I was able to help our staff member by giving him these so he could redo his bookwork. Thankfully, I’m more old school and had printed ours off, so I still had a hard copy. 

I found with the bookwork that often I would know how to do a task, but I didn’t always know the technical name or reasons behind it. Steve often had great satisfaction in telling me he already knew the answer, but that’s what 17 years in the fencing industry does to you. Steve’s had to learn to work it out as there wasn’t the training there is today. 

Getting staff involved in the course, not only helped to create a strong standard within the fencing industry but also had the bonus that staff could gain unit standards in things like chainsaws, tractors etc. Having some externally provided training is a bonus as it helps to back up any internal training we offer. 

If you’re a school lever and want to enter the fencing industry, I’d recommend calling around your local fencing contractors, mention that you want to complete this course and see if they will invest their time into your future and take you under their wing. This would give you the opportunity to gain some skills before completing the course, and it would give you a variety of work to help assist you in collating all the photo and video evidence required to pass the course.  

As for Steve and myself, we are extremely proud of ourselves and our staff member Arvind for putting in the hard work to gain the Certificate in Fencing (Level 3) qualification. Steve and I will definitely be enrolling in the Level 4 Certificate in Fencing course in 2024.  

Article written by Sarah Collins
S & S Fencing Contractors

Published in the Professional Development Feature in WIRED Issue 71 / December 2023 by Fencing Contractors NZ