December 2020

Gareth Beck, ESL Auckland

edenfx Emerging Practitioner of the Year 2020

What are the Emerging Safety Leaders (ESL)? Is that the thing for young professionals? Is it the group that looks at emerging theories in safety? How do I join? Where does it sit within NZISM? What are they trying to achieve?

In 2019 it was identified by a HASANZ study that there would be a shortfall in the number of people coming into the health and safety profession in NZ by 2029. At the time of the study it was shown that 50% of those currently in the workforce are over the age of 50 and less than 15% are under the age of 34. At the time there was no strategy to engage those who are emerging into the profession and provide a network and support during their development. The report also found many people were not part of an association with even fewer professionals accredited in New Zealand. The ESL is helping to try and address these issues, being a network for those looking for a place to ask questions and get support. The ESL also gives you a flavour of what NZISM has to offer with most of our events being free and is the first stepping stone on your journey to being an accredited practitioner/professional.

The ESL recognises that those coming into the H&S profession are at various stages in their life whether it’s a first or second career, whether you're 21 or 50. There is misconception that we only focus on the younger end of the age spectrum at the ESL but our focus is on those who are in the early stages of their career, those studying H&S and those who are interested eg. H&S reps. We are helping to bring those emerging into this career closer together and provide them with the tools and connections to successfully develop into leaders in H&S in New Zealand. We also encourage those who have ‘emerged’ to come along to our events as we welcome the diversity it brings to our network and provide guidance to those attending, provide a different point of view, depth of knowledge and maybe even take some learnings away with you.

Our events try to look towards different ways of learning and many focus on developing what is known as ‘soft’ skills/competencies that will help you on your journey as a professional. We also love to network as we believe that these interactions are what get the neurons firing and get you asking different questions. We also look at some of the latest research from inside and outside the world of H&S and try to integrate that into our events when we can. On occasion we also try to get to sites around NZ to expose those fresh to the field to a variety of different risks.

It's been a busy first 18 months since our first event but all this mahi accumulated in the ESL being recognised as a Finalist at the 2020 Safeguard New Zealand Workplace Health and Safety Awards in the Leadership category.

CEO of NZISM Selena Armstrong said “It was such a proud moment at the Safeguard Awards, to see the whole ESL Committee recognised for establishing such an important network for those entering the profession. A lot of mahi goes into getting a network off the ground. The team have done an incredible job stepping up to meet a need in the profession”.

So how can you be part of the ESL? You can't really ‘join’ us like the NZISM - although you can enter your email on the ESL part of the NZISM website so we know you are there. However, the best option is to follow us on LinkedIn for all the latest updates and notice of events. We have active groups in Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington and Tauranga. We would love to see you at our next event in the new year.