Skip to content

Yashili paves the way for new industry leaders to learn management skills through Wintec

Leadership capability is quite often learnt on the job. However, many businesses are now reaping the benefits of investing time and resources into their people of all levels, with the help of Wintec, a business division of Te Pūkenga.

Today’s business environment requires resilience, adaptability and practical skill sets around business topics such as communication, dealing with change and conflict, and strategies for developing teams.

For four years, Wintec has offered tailored professional development programmes for businesses. Some of the epic testimonials coming from this space have been featured in previous articles. This last article, features Yashili NZ Dairy Co Ltd, the business that catapulted Wintec’s Professional Programmes’ popularity.

Tina Yakas, General Manager People and Capability at Yashili NZ Dairy Co Ltd, approached Michelle Pearse, a Wintec Training Consultant, four years ago to see if she might be able to help create a programme to help shape Yashili’s future leaders.

Yakas shared that “We were targeting an audience that we really wanted to develop into emerging leaders. In a manufacturing plant you can have a lot of senior operators with super technical skills as well as a great work ethic and we wanted to get them ready to go into a role where they have direct reports. It’s a big change going from working beside someone as a co-worker to becoming their supervisor.”

Fast forward to now and the programme is in full swing. Not only has Yashili made it part of its yearly operations, but it’s also being used by the likes of Foster Group Waikato, Vestas New Zealand Wind Technology and Kalós Windows & Doors.

Yakas said the course had been adapted along the way, but the reason for it had remained the same.

“Throughout my career I’ve seen many people with great technical skills promoted to a supervisory or managers role without having developed any people management or managerial skills. That’s where this course comes in. It really develops those people management skills. The learnings are practical and easily applied to day-to-day work, thanks to the course we’ve created with Wintec.

“I wanted our staff to be confident in managing change, coaching and developing their people, and be sure of themselves in situations of conflict.”

She said the whole programme was designed around giving people the confidence to be able to manage others, and still be work friends with them. It was about giving them the tools to be able to gain respect and to be able to have any conversations, tough and easy alike, that they need to as a manager of people who used to be their co-workers. 

Yashili call it the Emerging Leadership Programme.

“A big part of the value in this programme is that they get taken away from the business and actually get to work on themselves.”

Yakas said the course has helped staff learn to manage up as well as down, which is important for middle management roles. She said their course has a presentation element where, at the end of the programme, each member of the cohort must do a presentation to Yashili’s senior management. This is a game changer for the cohort’s confidence.

Yashili nominate people to go through these courses.

“The senior management team have a talent review meeting twice every year where we discuss all staff and identify performance as well as potential. Those that are in the top bracket for high potential are selected to attend the Emerging Leaders Programme for their individual development. 

“Those who have completed our first cohorts (way back when we first started this) have gone through to lead and then to manager positions.” 

She said another benefit which they didn’t see coming from this course was the network they created. 

“When you have six to eight people in a cohort you are creating your own network of people. They will often reach out to their colleagues and work on issues together, which is really amazing,” Yakas said.

Peter Huntley the senior Professional Programmes Facilitator who led the team who worked with Yashili initially on these emerging leaders’ programmes shared his vast experience as one of only a few generalist HR practitioners in the country, and he’s kept his finger on the pulse since. 

Peter believes these Wintec Professional Programmes courses are just what the industry needs and loves that they are being facilitated by people who have years of experience.  

“I enjoy training people, seeing the lights go on, and seeing them grasp the principles and process of what we’re talking about while in the workshops. If people are doing something because they’re passionate about it, then they’ll do it when it needs to be done, they won’t do it just 9-5.”

Wintec in-house current facilitator, Delia Beuker, has an extensive background in people development and communications, having worked with a large range of industries – from small business to corporate environments for over 25 years. 

Delia said the Leadership Programmes have helped so many people to uncover their personal strengths through self-awareness. 

“We have seen vast improvements in confidence and motivation from participants. They have demonstrated a deeper understanding of what is required to lead themselves and others to higher levels of performance. This includes having the ability to think on their feet and adapt to changing situations. It has helped people to build stronger relationships and to become more effective in decision-making, resulting in increased productivity within their roles.

“Supporting leaders to transition upward, is key to future growth and development. We are seeing increased capabilities from participants, and an improved customer-focused collaboration with other areas of the business too.”

Right now is the perfect time to take your business forward into the future. To talk to our Professional Programmes team about your business goals and how a tailored Leadership Programme can work for you, contact: Michelle Pearse: or Marty Lowry:

Wintec is part of Te Pūkenga - New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology Learn More

Learn with purpose

Explore Te Pūkenga

Te Kāwanatanga o Aotearoa - New Zealand Government

Te Kāwanatanga o Aotearoa - New Zealand Government

Copyright © 2022 Wintec