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Christchurch woman takes Networks Trainee title


21 October 2008

Christchurch woman takes Networks Trainee of the Year title

Christchurch-based electrical apprentice Jennifer Seaward was recently named Networks Trainee of the Year at the 2008 Electricity Supply Industry Training Organisation (ESITO) Excellence Awards.

The Networks Trainee of the Year title, and $500 cash prize, is awarded annually to a trainee who has demonstrated excellence and dedication in the pursuit of educational and vocational training. To be eligible for this category, the trainee must work on one of the multitude of networks that deliver electricity to households and businesses around New Zealand.

Immigrating from Canada three years ago, Ms Seaward took up an apprenticeship with ABB Limited and never looked back. At the end of this year, she will finish the National Certificate in Electricity Supply (Electrical Engineering) Level 4. Although this means her apprenticeship will be finished, her studies will continue as Ms Seaward plans to start studying toward advanced trade qualifications.

“Like so many of this year’s winners, Jennifer is a great model,” said ESITO Acting CEO and convenor of the judging panel, John McWilliam. “But what impressed the judges the most was Jennifer’s willingness to throw herself into different roles and different environments.”

Ms Seaward received her award at a gala dinner held at Mystery Creek Events Centre in Hamilton last Thursday. Other award winners were:

ESITO Overall Trainee of the Year
Bjorn Van Dam, Mighty River Power

Business Support Trainee of the Year
Liz Thomas, Electrix Limited

Generation Trainee of the Year
Bjorn Van Dam, Mighty River Power

Telecommunications Trainee of the Year
Jeremy Young, Transfield Services (New Zealand) Limited

Advanced Trainee of the Year
Michael Buchanan, Tenix Alliance New Zealand Limited

Contribution to Industry Training
Ashley Weir, Tyco Electronics NZ Limited

The ESITO Excellence Awards are organised by ESITO with support from premier sponsor Northpower. Other sponsors include Electrix, Precision Training, Mighty River Power, United Group, DJC, Transfield Services and Connetics.

The Electricity Supply Industry Training Organisation (ESITO) sets national standards and qualifications, and develops learning resources for all sectors of the industry – generation, transmission, distribution and utilisation.

About ABB
ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of Companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 115,000 people.

ABB ( has been in New Zealand for over 75 years and employs around 840 people nationwide.


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