The Future Ready – Money Confidence course is helping Pacific workers build valuable financial literacy and life skills.

Sanford Limited employs almost 1500 people in its fishing, aquaculture and seafood processing business. At its Auckland-based processing plant, the 170 strong workforce has a high proportion of Pacific people, mostly in fairly low-paid roles.

With Auckland’s high cost of living, this can make managing money a struggle.

These factors made Sanford an ideal candidate for Tātaki Auckland Unlimited’s Future Ready: Money Confidence course, and the operations team was quick to jump on board. The course, which is designed to boost financial literacy and improve money management, has given the team new skills and a newfound awareness of financial issues. Team members who took the course are already showing more confidence in their financial decisions.

Chief People Officer Karen Duffy explains: “These skills empower our people to know that their thinking, planning and decision-making can make a difference to their lives, their families and the business they work in.

Gaining skills, gaining opportunities

Sanford has always been interested in delivering training and education to its workforce. Many staff members have had limited opportunities to learn, leaving school early and moving straight into work. In the past, Sanford has run literacy and numeracy programmes for its staff, helping people build communication skills and confidence at work.

Quote from Karen, Chief People Officer

As Karen explains, one main takeaway from those sessions was that money management was a need for many staff members. They wanted to be able to understand their situation, set goals and make better financial decisions.

The management team didn’t just see the need – they thought building financial skills would be beneficial in a wider sense, so when the opportunity to take part in the Tātaki Auckland Unlimited Future Ready: Money Confidence training course arose, it was an excellent next step for upskilling their people.

Karen Sanford Fisheries

Delivering key skills in a digestible format

To introduce the Money Confidence course in their workplace, the Sanford team chose a small group of employees it felt would benefit most, then organised time off the floor so they could attend. The programme was delivered in two-hour sessions over eight weeks, with a final graduation ceremony at the end.

During the course, Sanford employees learned concepts like compound interest and savings, and set individual financial goals. Many team members with smaller goals have already achieved them, while others are still working towards longer-term targets.

Karen explains that the benefits have not just been personal – the management team has noticed changes in employees at work. General digital literacy has improved, making it easier for employees to use technology on the job.

“As a business, we have gained through people experiencing learning in a new and diverse team, being more confident in looking at information and making informed decisions at work, knowing that their thinking and decision-making make a difference,” she says.

Building skills and gaining trust

The course was delivered by education provider Education Unlimited. The Sanford management team were impressed at how well organised the training was and how little disruption there was to their operations.

The content was shared in manageable chunks, with a focus on real-world skills and achievable goals. According to Karen, the tutors understood the team and were able to create a trusting, positive learning environment that has carried through to the workplace.

She explains what this looks like: “An increased sense of trust from the team members who don’t normally work together, built on the trust and enjoyment experienced in training.”

Karen – along with other members of the management team – is enthusiastic about the impact on her employees, and keen to sign more employees up for this and other training. She’s also an advocate for other employers taking their staff through training courses.

“Investing in life skill learning for your people delivers enormous personal growth for them and business growth for your company. This is demonstrated in increased worker confidence, problem-solving and action to improve outcomes, whether personal or business-related. Your team will value your investment in them, and your business will be stronger as a result,” she says.

Money confidence and more with Project Ikuna

Sanford’s successful Future Ready: Money Confidence course is part of Project Ikuna, a four-year, MBIE-funded programme aimed at upskilling Auckland’s Pacific workforce. It’s designed to give people the capability and knowledge they need to adapt to the future of work, particularly after the economic impacts of COVID-19.

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