TIL THRIVING ON EQUAL OPPORTUNITY
Nov 1 2015
TRANSPORT INVESTMENTS LTD (TIL) OPERATORS OF HOOKER PACIFIC, TNL, AND ROADSTAR, ARE KNOWN AS EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYERS AND THIS MONTH WE HIGHLIGHT SOME EXAMPLES.
Melissa started her career after getting her School Certificate and heading for the workforce in 1986 at just 15 years of age.
She had been wanting to leave school for some time and landed a job with Horleys Health in the packaging and warehousing department.
She put her soul into this first job working 60-70 hours and taking home in excess of $600 a week. Bucking the trend of most young people she put a large amount of this into a savings account.
Over the next few years Melissa tried a number of other occupations and in 2001 she took an operations job with TNL at their Neilson Street Onehunga branch in Auckland. She settled into the position of dispatcher without much difficulty, having experienced this type of work organising technical service staff in a previous position.
Melissa was responsible for the Auckland Metro delivery system, a huge learning curve for her as she grappled with the two transport fundamentals, cube and weight to optimise vehicle utilisation.
After a settling in period and great help from other, mostly male, members of the TNL staff, Melissa soon met the job’s requirements.
Being a flag marshal at Pukekohe, Hampton Downs and the Hamilton street race tracks, including the V8 super car races, was also a very useful tool for cementing public relations with staff and customers.
In 2011, after seven years in Auckland, a move to New Plymouth was prompted by her partner, an owner/driver for the TIL group. Melissa took a position at Hookers in New Plymouth, one of the TIL group of companies.
Melissa is now employed in customer relations and freight claims and, according to branch manager Wayne Mehrtens, "Melissa can cope with pretty much anything we throw at her, generally without a grizzle."
And what does Melissa think?
"Of course there is general banter but I haven’t had to cope with rubbish about being a woman in this office. They are a good bunch to work with, most of the time."
Mischelle Casey is comfortable at 57 years of age driving a Hiab truck operating from the wharf depot of Hookers in New Plymouth.
After successfully completing her 6th form year with a long term ambition of becoming a vet, she took her first job with New Zealand Post in the linesman division, completing an apprenticeship in installation and maintenance, and eventually progressing to crew supervisor at the ripe old age of 20.
She did not have any problems supervising men but soon realised that she was never going to be rich working under the New Zealand Post structure so started to look around for something else.
Mischelle had always been a motorcycle enthusiast and during her time at NZ Post she not only purchased her first bike, a 1970 Triumph Bonneville; but also bought a bus, a mobile home for future travels.
She obtained a job in the construction industry achieving her certificates in crane operating as well as her heavy traffic and forklift licences. Mischelle had become a very versatile employee and as such had found getting work no problem.
At one point Mischelle was appointed to a position of crane instructor with the local polytech but soon discovered that her income was insufficient to continue her passion for motorcycles. By this stage she owned eight motorcycles.
After shopping around she made contact with Barry Wickes from Hookers wharf depot in New Plymouth. He had a position for a Hiab truck driver and this is where you’ll find Mischelle today, and loving it.
"Barry is a top man and has guided me through the learning curve of operating a Hiab which has its difficult side," Mischelle said. She has not had a problem with any of her male counterparts although she has heard of the odd problem with some female drivers.
"You just have to prove yourself by doing the job as good, or better, than the blokes."
Michelle Bennett has had a few jobs since leaving the school she attended in Auckland in 1986. She started out at a clothing manufacturer sewing garments. It was a steady job but not the most exciting, so she moved on and joined Tasti Products working in food processing.
Following the arrival of a baby and time away she got back into the work scene taking on a job in the hospitality industry eventually becoming a chef. This was followed by a move to Tauranga and change of pace managing her mum’s avocado orchard.
Three years later her partner found a job in New Plymouth and the family moved there. Michelle needed a job and while searching through the Taranaki Times, she saw an advertisement for a driver training course at the local Polytech.
"That looked like a good idea so I applied and was accepted. I met the instructors of Master Drive Ltd, the company associated with the course, and was directed to Hookers to participate in their 12 week cadet course" said Michelle. "I achieved my Class 2 licence and on November 1st 2014 was offered a permanent job with the Hooker Group. I have now reached my Class 4L, dangerous goods, and forklift licences and am still under instruction with the Hookers’ team."
"I currently drive a seven tonne Hino running mainly metro freight but I do get some distance driving as I gain experience.
"I am totally grateful to the team at TIL for offering me a job and for the follow-up instruction I have received."