SMILES LIT UP the faces of the Gold Coast-based Dayshelf Fire Systems team when they were announced as the Small Employer of the Year at the Australian Training Awards in Perth last week. The accolade highlighted Dayshelf’s unique training program and commitment to apprentices.
The business, which was established in 1980 and is run by three generations of the Taylor family, has developed its own training matrix to skill staff in the niche fire services industry. About one-quarter of Dayshelf's employees are trainees.
Dayshelf Fire Systems is now one of the largest independent fire protection services companies in Queensland, with a staff of 40 and more than 800 clients across the commercial, industrial and residential sector, predominately in Queensland and northern New South Wales.
Dayshelf won the award, which recognises small enterprises that have achieved excellence in the provision of nationally recognised training to employees, ahead of Tasmanian company, Roadways, and Western Australian business, Barber Drilling.
Dayshelf Fire Systems chief operations officer Darren Taylor said it was a coup for the company to be recognised on a national level.
"To be named Australia's best small business trainer, against so many great companies right across the country, is a real achievement and recognition of the work we've put in over three decades to develop our training system," Mr Taylor said.
"The fire services industry is quite niche and there are no specific school or colleague based pathways into this area, so we developed our program to ensure our staff are always at the forefront of latest best practice.
“Fire protection systems have grown in complexity with changing industry standards, so we are focused on ensuring the knowledge of our team members increases in-line with this too.
"We have our own system that tracks and maps the training and licensing of all our staff to ensure we always deliver the highest possible standard of workmanship, giving clients the confidence their building is compliant.
"This awards process has really highlighted to us as a company just what we have achieved through this training program."
National Fire Industry Association of Queensland executive director Wayne Smith congratulated Dayshelf on its commitment to continued business improvement.
"Our mission is to partner with members like Dayshelf to build a better industry through training, quality and professionalism," Mr Smith said.
"Dayshelf is a living embodiment of this. At National Fire Industry Association of Queensland (NFIAQ), we believe by growing the character and performance of our industry, all our members, their customers and the industry as a whole win."
Dayshelf Fire Systems' commitment to training has seen the company achieve significant growth over the last 30 years, from an organisation started by local City Councillor Paul Taylor, to a company delivering large and complex projects.
It is now managed by Cr Taylor's son Darren, his grandson Zane Taylor as chief financial officer, and nephew Adam Lansdown as the director of projects. Three employees have been with the company for more than 20 years and many others more than five years.
Dayshelf has grown from selling and servicing fire extinguishers and fire hose reels to installing and servicing fire protection systems, from water based systems to electronic and alarm based systems.