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Otago Southland council chairman Sir Julian Smith said the award recognised businesses who employed people in the New Zealand Reserve Forces and allowed them time off for military training.
The reservists needed to communicate to their employers the skills they gained during military training to highlight the advantages companies gained by allowing staff the time to train, Sir Julian said.
At the presentation, Sir Julian said the council was investigating an initiative to issue certificates to reservists detailing the military skills, to give to employers.
Calder Stewart co-managing director Peter Stewart said he was happy for draughtsman Sean Johnson to take time off for military training.
Mr Johnson was ''pumped'' about being a reservist and was consequently a ''happy camper'' at work.
In a disaster, such as the Canterbury Earthquakes, the community benefited from the military training of reservists, Mr Stewart said.
Fisher and Paykel (F&P) was runner-up at the awards.
F&P design engineer Malcolm Sherlaw said fellow design engineer Rob Tomlinson was given time off work to train during his 22 years in the naval reserve as a lieutenant-commander and commanding officer of HMNZS Toroa.
F&P and the Naval Reserve mutually benefited from Lt-cmdr Tomlinson's military training, Mr Sherlaw said.
''He takes his works skills to the navy and brings his navy skills to work. It is a win/win situation.''
Staff members who engaged in military training were easier to retain, because they were happier in their work, Mr Sherlaw said.
Lt-cmdr Tomlinson, who trained about 60 days a year, said the skills learned in the military assisted a ''civilian career'' by providing discipline and a controlled approach to problem-solving.