CustomPak team gain digital confidence from micro-credential training course February 27th, 2023 Family-owned recyclable packaging business, CustomPak is upskilling their team’s digital capabilities with a new micro-credential qualification, ahead of installing new software and reviewing Industry 4.0 technologies. With a new system in the pipeline to replace their current paper-based processes, alongside a recent Industry 4.0 review, General Manager Glenn Wilson was delighted to recently put nine of his Christchurch-based machine operators through the ‘Skills Shift’ programme. As the company began to focus on ways to significantly improve efficiency and digital capability, Glenn recognised that this requires the manufacturing team to have a good level of digital literacy. On completion of the course, he was pleased to see the team gain confidence to use digital work tools in everyday processes and to learn new things to keep up with digital change. “I saw how their confidence grew when they actually had a qualification given to them, and I thought that was very powerful,” says Glenn Along with efficiencies across their office, factory and store processes, one of Glenn’s goals is to make the manufacturing process leaner by reducing lost time through breakdowns and having more real-time stock data. “We make thousands of units in a day, so on one machine we could make 40,000 units in an 8-hour shift. If that number drops to 35,500 units one day, we need to get the information on why that is very quickly to make sure it doesn’t continue.” Digital literacy includes numeracy, literacy and computer skills. Across the manufacturing sector, digital literacy has been identified as the most pressing skills gap due to the technological changes required to remain competitive. Hanga-Aro-Rau is the new Workforce Development Council which creates and oversees qualifications in the manufacturing industry. Hanga-Aro-Rau Deputy Chief Executive Samantha McNaughton says that as technology moves on it is important to keep manufacturing workers’ digital skills up to date and the digital micro-credential is a perfect way to do so. “As technology progresses further with Industry 4.0, workers need new skills to keep pace with new systems and processes, especially some older employees who have not been brought up during the age of digital technology, but who have invaluable experience in their fields,” says Samantha. “This new micro-credential has been designed specifically for the manufacturing industry, to improve the level of digital literacy and to begin to meet the demands brought about by Industry 4.0.” The digital skills programme consists of nine weekly training sessions to help manufacturing workers build a digital mindset and the digital confidence they need to engage more proactively with technology at work, supporting them to be ready to embrace Industry 4.0. On completion of nine weekly training sessions onsite, the CustomPak graduates were the first to be awarded an NZQA Digital Skills Micro-credential in Manufacturing outside of the qualification’s pilot programme. The micro-credential was fully funded under the Government’s Targeted Training and Apprenticeship Fund (TTAF) for employers who enrolled their staff before 31 December 2022. Pictured: CustomPak’s Craig Williams is a graduate of the NZQA Digital Skills Micro-credential in Manufacturing. This story first appeared in Pūrongo a-tau – the Hanga-Aro-Rau Inaugural Annual Report 2021/22.