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!