From line mechanics and cable jointers, electricians to utility arborists, electrical engineers to designers, it takes a huge range of skills to look after the MainPower network. We’re justifiably proud of our apprenticeship programme and the career pathways we provide.
Hayden – MainPower Trainee Line Mechanic
“I left school at the end of Year 12. I was 17 and didn’t really know what I wanted to do. Then, I read about a course at Christchurch Polytech (CPIT) – Electricity Supply Level 2. It sounded good so I applied and completed it in eight months. It was pretty good. I learnt some engineering, welding, that sort of thing. And then I saw an advert for a trainee line mechanic at MainPower. I didn’t really know what they did so I went home that night, did a bit of research on the internet and thought, that’d be good. So, I applied and got the job. I think part of the reason they took me on was that I’d completed the pre-trade course at CPIT. I really like the guys I work with, they are great. And the work is interesting. I’m learning new things all the time. I like the feeling that I’m doing an important job, especially when I go out on faults…keeping the power on, helping the community. It feels real good”.
Stephen – MainPower Line Mechanic Foreman
“I started out as a Trainee with the company over ten years ago and am now Foreman of a team of five. As you progress through the ranks towards becoming a Line Mechanic it requires a lot of formal training both skills based as well as learning from others. Leadership training provided me with the opportunity to learn skills that I can apply out in the field and also in everyday life. Learning how to delegate and motivate others has helped make me better at my job.”
Adam - MainPower Controller
The technology may have changed but the job remains the same. MainPower’s Controllers are the main communication line between staff and customers and the region’s power system. “We are basically like air traffic controllers for power. We communicate with workers out in the field, coordinating planned power interruptions. We always try to minimise the effect on customers but the work is essential and at the end of the day it means that the power supply will be more stable. We also monitor the network load and manage unplanned outages. A call to MainPower’s 0508 fault line comes direct to the Control Room. It is our job to isolate the problem and send out a crew to fix it. We rely on customers letting us know when their power is out, it helps in our investigation and means we can get the power back on as soon as possible. Being a Controller requires a lot of commitment; outages don’t just happen during normal working hours. Controllers also need to have the ability to work under pressure and keep calm.”
Henry – MainPower AutoCAD/GIS Technician
AutoCAD/GIS Technician Henry Palmer joined MainPower straight out of polytechnic and has been with the company for close to three years. Part of the network assets group, MainPower’s four AutoCAD/GIS Technicians are some of the company’s youngest employees. “We work with computer aided design (CAD) and documentation software which allows us to design, draft and model MainPower’s electricity network assets. This runs alongside a geographic information system (GIS) which is constantly being updated as new infrastructure is added to the network. What that means for the customer is that when there is a power outage, the Control Room can access our systems to quickly isolate the problem, using the most up to date information. We also work with customers to provide underground cable location advice which is essential for any digging or excavation work.”