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40 Under 40 winner of the day: Aaron Superina

Business

Employing the right people and then providing them with opportunities to grow with the company is the secret of Outside Ideas’ success, according to Aaron Superina, the winner of InDaily’s 40 Under 40 First Among Equals award.

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Superina, who began his landscaping business 16 years ago and has built it into South Australia’s largest commercial landscaping company, said that Outside Ideas had always invested in training apprentices and was about to establish a registered training organisation to ensure the entire industry has the right skills.

“We’ve got a real focus on apprentices and graduate engineers that come through our business,” Superina said.

“We are just starting a leadership program that some of our more senior site managers are going to be undertaking, which will hopefully give them the skills they need to become better leaders, which will help our business grow.”

Superina said the company had always run an apprenticeship program but decided to increase the intake in 2019 to ensure the landscaping and civil construction company was able to meet the demand for its services.

“We invested a lot in apprentices, and there are 17 first-year apprentices (this year),” he said.

“We aim to have 12 per cent of our staff being first year apprentices and, hopefully, we will have a good retention rate and they will finish their third year and become really valuable members of our staff.”

Having grown the company to employ 155 staff and reach revenue of $44 million a year, Superina realised that the entire industry needed better trained staff and decided to undertake the long process of establishing an RTO for the landscaping and civil construction industry.

“We are very close to having our registration in to ASQA (Australian Skills Quality Authority) to become an RTO,” he said.

“We are not just focused on having a lot of apprentices, we are really focused on them receiving the right kind of quality training delivered in the right kind of way to make sure that they are really learning and not stuck in a classroom for a full day a week.”

Superina said the RTO would train apprentices for other companies as well so Outside Ideas had involved the entire industry.

“We put together an advisory panel of business owners and people from other landscaping and civil companies so that they know that what we are teaching and the way that we are delivering that training is actually great for them,” he said.

Outside Ideas, which has won contracts for major infrastructure projects such as the Torrens to Torrens upgrade, the Royal Adelaide Hospital and Adelaide Oval, is in the midst of expanding outside South Australia with the acquisition of a landscaping company in Victoria.

Superina was voted the First Among Equals by the judging panel of InDaily’s 40 Under 40 awards and will receive training from the award sponsor the Australian Institute of Company Directors to further his professional development.

To see the full list of 40 winners, announced last week, go here.

InDaily will be profiling each of the winners over the coming weeks.

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