After two years of studying the students have all completed the New Zealand Diploma in Engineering (Electrical) and Northpower plans to roll out a similar graduate programme in 2023.
“What is particularly impressive is that they qualified by largely studying remotely due to Covid. That is a massive effort and has taken immense discipline,” says Andrea O’Brien, Northpower’s General Manager People and Capability.
All of the graduates have shown resilience, even with all of the challenges they have faced.”
It is Northpower’s first specific electrical engineering cohort and the company is keen to duplicate the programme in 2023. The current graduates are dotted around the North Island with three each in Whangarei and Hamilton, four in Auckland, and one in Tauranga. All are in full-time roles with the company.
Northpower Training Manager Mackenzie Ashby has worked closely with the graduates and says they deserve their success.
“The Cohort did really well. Because Covid hit when they started they had to work independently throughout much of the course so most of 2021 they spent studying online,” says Miss Ashby.
“For some it was good that they had the support of their families when studying from home but at the same time they were under a lot of pressure being on their own and not having the support of their fellow cohort to bounce ideas off. Covid travel restrictions also meant that we were not able to travel and support them physically.
“While it was a pilot programme we certainly did not expect to have so many challenges. It has been a big investment by Northpower to bring these 11 graduates into fulltime employment with the company but well worth it.
Over the next few months we will sit down with all of the graduates and look at what worked well and what can be done better so we are even more prepared for the next round of graduates.”
The MIT cohort have taken on the following roles with Northpower: Graduate Engineer - Transmission, Graduate Design Estimator, Graduate Connections Estimator, Works Planner - Inspections Team, Graduate Engineer - Network, Trainee Electrical Fitter, Trainee Technician - Electrical Services, Maintenance Engineer - Asset Replacement Overhead, Trainee Electrical Fitter - Distribution and Graduate Design Estimator - Connections Team.