Pauline Mountfort CEO of Training Aspirations talks about how it all began

Pauline Mountfort

 

Never for one minute, did I imagine myself to be a business owner and entrepreneur.

It was Charlie Mountfort, my late husband, that I thank, who encouraged me to take the big step to start my own company. That was in May of 1993. I nervously announced the formation of Training Aspirations and so commenced the roles of CEO and consultant as the next stage in my career.

Again, I never imagined that the journey as business owner would continue for 25 years! It’s been a quarter century of my life. I can’t help feeling this milestone is worthy of recognition! Life is like a shadow and a mist; it passes quickly by, and is no more. So … life is precious!

The life and soul of my training organisation stemmed from my passion for learning effectively. Challenges and opportunities came my way, and so we were able to evolve. It has taken courage and openness blended with a lot of commitment, to achieve great outcomes for our customers.

Our work has also been underpinned by our core values. I’ve believed in the potential of positive collaboration and mutually beneficial relationships as the driving force to generating success … our customers then reap the benefits. And for the parties involved, the results are usually rewarding and satisfying.

Thanks to everyone who has supported me over the years and through the different projects. It’s been an extraordinary experience.

August 9, 2018

Tony Stella

Tony Stella

Tony Stella has been a Principal Facilitator with Training Aspirations since 1996.

Q-What’s really gratifying about training people?
I intentionally present the concepts of my TTM training in a manner that would be understandable to all levels of the participants’ learning abilities. A few people enter the class with apprehension, thinking it will be too challenging. They can be worried too about their level of literacy. I get so much satisfaction when I see them gaining confidence; I love seeing people learn. Many participants push themselves hard because they know that they will be rewarded with a job in the end. Encouragement, and changing negative thinking to positive thinking is so important to me.

Q-Is there any experience that happened in a training session that you felt was extraordinary?
After a class test, a participant jumped out of his seat and cheered – He whipped out his camera and took a photo of his passing score on the test. He was going to send the photo to his Mum and everyone he knew. He said, “this is the first test I ever passed in my life!” I felt so moved.

Q-What insights would you offer to a person entering or advancing in this industry?
With a high placement rate from gaining a TC certificate, participants have a great incentive to pass the training. My advice to them is: the more you know about the New Zealand Transport Agency’s (NZTA) Code of Practice for Temporary Traffic Management, the better it will be for you in the job. In my sessions I emphasise how important it is to know how to access information about safety– Keeping yourself and your crew safe is vital.

For participants who are on the NZTA Train The Trainer training to be trainers themselves, I hope to instill the value in them that they will be there to inspire and encourage their future participants. The NZTA training should not be purely for a “ticket” for their own jobs. It’s all about “learning not earning.”

Q-Where do you think this industry is heading?
Going forward, the use of technology will be very important. More skills will be required, with less numbers of employees.

I am urging companies to offer access to the NZTA Code of Practice (CoPTTM), and site documentation on devices that will be held onsite. Tablets and phones will be utilised much more to connect to information.

Q-Is there a new technological advancement that you can tell us about?
There is a new STOP/GO patrol that is currently being used in our trials with Kiwi Rail. There is a port-a-boom on either end of the traffic site, with one operator in the middle of the site, instead of three Stop/Go patrols. Currently this port-a-boom operation is experimental, but we anticipate that it will be available by next year.

Another new innovation will be Virtual Reality used for training purposes. With 3D simulators, and immersive goggles, participants will be better able to experience the challenges of complex traffic management sites in the training. It’s the way of the future.

Q-Are you excited about the future direction TTM training is taking?
I am very proud to say that the New Zealand Code of Practice (CoPTTM) will be an international influence in the future. AustRoads, in Australia, has initiated a new project to remake their codes based on the New Zealand code that I had contributed to. There is a process of harmonising TTM between the two countries. Also NZTA’s Competency Framework to deliver more effective training will enhance the success of this program throughout the world.

Q-Are there any messages you would like to convey to Training Aspirations in honour of their 25th anniversary celebration?
In my experience within my profession, I can easily say that with the leadership of Pauline Mountfort at Training Aspirations, there has been an exceptional value of integrity, ethics, and relationships on all business levels. Congratulations to Training Aspirations!

August 5, 2018

Tracy Shaw

Tracy Shaw

Q-Why is training important to your organisation?

Not only is it important, but it is a necessity for us to function. NZTA requires a TC certification for work on all highway traffic management projects. Most of our road work is done on highways, as they are the main connections that people travel on between our local towns. TRAINING ASPIRATIONS is the source for us to keep our employees qualified, and also ensure that they renew their certificates every 3 years.

 

Q-In what ways does training contribute to your employee’s commitment to their jobs?

Working on the highways can be daunting and potentially dangerous– good training makes workers feel more comfortable and confident in stressful situations. By attending a full day of training, they are well trained. The fact that TRAINING ASPIRATIONS also gives one-on-one training sets them above other training agencies –TRAINING ASPIRATIONS gives a full day of training – with classroom, and onsite roadway practice as well. With that extra attention, TRAINING ASPIRATIONS goes further to encourage participants who may be less educated, or need special care, to succeed in this trade. They go over and above.

 

Q-What advantages does the training give your employees for the future?

With their good well-rounded courses, TRAINING ASPIRATIONS’ participants are capably trained – they have a recognized certification that they can take with them as they move on.  Other training agencies offer the minimum coursework. TRAINING ASPIRATIONS gives workers a full range of qualifications that they can build on for their own future, and with our company as well.

 

Q-Are you aware of any TTM training needs that are not being met by NZTA’s current framework of TTM training?

After having taken the Auditor Training with TRAINING ASPIRATIONS, I would hope that NZTA and the Councils would make it a standard practice for their auditors as well. There is a large inconsistency in how auditors approach our job sites. Some are extremely severe, and some are quite lax. TRAINING ASPIRATIONS gives a comprehensive instruction to Auditors on how to make reasonable and realistic, uniform and consistent audits, and also expertise on filling out the Audit forms.

 

Q-Are there any messages you would like to convey to Training Aspirations in honour of their 25th anniversary celebration?

Congratulations to the whole team at TRAINING ASPIRATIONS. It has been a pleasure partnering with you these 4 1/2 years. I look forward to engaging TRAINING ASPIRATIONS’ high standards and working together for many more years to come.

August 5, 2018

Wendi Henderson

Wendi

Q-Why is training important to your organisation?

There are many types of roads that come under our jurisdiction. The most important thing for us, is that our workers are safe and compliant with the Codes that apply to the type of road they are working on. With proper training, we benefit from our employees’ skills as we are concerned about Best Practice. Training definitely plays an important role in achieving and maintaining Best Practice. Their enhanced knowledge of Compliance will make them safer, and training will help grow and develop our staff at the same time.

Q-In what ways does training contribute to your employee’s commitment to their jobs?

Training and supplementary qualifications have a 2-fold benefit. For instance, a qualified Arborist will have additional duties around vehicle driving and traffic management. After training in traffic management, they will have another certification that will broaden their overall expertise. They will feel safer and more capable when they understand the extended requirements of their jobs better. We will also gain by having a more qualified staff. It really spans across our whole business.

Q-What advantages does the training give your employees for the future?

A-TC and STMS are qualifications that are quite sought after. Anyone who works on the roads needs a TC Certificate. If our employee has this additional training, they will have opportunities for growth in our organisation, and in many other industries as well. It opens doors and opportunities going forward wherever they go in the future.

Q-Are there any messages you would like to convey to Training Aspirations in honour of their 25th anniversary celebration?

I’ve been working with Training Aspirations for over 15 years, and join in celebrating where they are at today. They got to this 25year anniversary with extraordinary dedication, follow-through, efficiency, and hard work for their clients. Congratulations for reaching this milestone!

August 3, 2018

Moving in a bold direction with Training Aspirations

Michael Pratap

Michael Pratap, Participant

“For the past 2 ½ years, the encouragement and special care that Training Aspirations’ takes, has led me to follow my dream to become a Site Traffic Management Supervisor (STMS) – then go the full distance to be a road inspector and auditor. Ever since I saw the cones of the roadworks, I have had the goal of being the most constructive person I could be. With the excellent instruction from Kieran, and the positive inspiration from Pauline, I feel I am on my way.

Kieran makes training enjoyable by spending a lot of time explaining, putting concepts together and making it understandable, while also being funny too! It is easy to learn when I feel inspired by Kieran’s way of teaching step-by-step, so I am able to achieve and succeed in my studies. He’s the best!

Pauline has gone out of her way to stay in touch when I was unable to attend sessions, sending me learning materials – and her enthusiasm keeps me motivated to go forward. I can’t thank her enough for being so kind and supportive.

From the top down – Pauline, Kieran, Stephanie – Training Aspirations is the best!… there is nothing more I can say.”

Michael Pratap

August 2, 2018