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Campaign to Recruit Female Infrastructure Industry Staff

Girls with Hi-Vis® campaign leads drive to recruit Infrastructure Industry staff

Wellington, 20 July 2017: Women from around the country recently experienced a taste of a career in the Infrastructure Industry.

Throughout the month of June the 'Girls with Hi-Vis®' campaign saw women donning hi-vis jackets at 9 events nationwide to try their hand at jobs traditionally more popular with men, in the energy, telecommunications, civil construction and water industries, all in a bid to attract more women into the workforce.

Led by Connexis - the Infrastructure Industry Training Organisation (ITO) - Girls with Hi-Vis® aims to attract more staff to help address the looming shortage of skilled staff in the Industry.

Women got 'hands on' experiencing a pole top rescue, building extension leads, touring workstations and sites, hearing from women who are already in the industry offering an insight into what working in the industry is like on a day-to-day basis.

Ellie Pugh (18) is one Girls with Hi-Vis® success story. She attended the Mainpower event last year where she was inspired to join the Industry and is now a Trainee Cable Jointer. This year she led the inspiration for other women by sharing her workplace stories and lending a hand to help a group build extension cords.

Ellie is currently the only woman in MainPower Rangiora's field services department and says that every day is different, which she loves. "Sometimes we get called away to a fault, and are then often called away again to a higher priority fault. Prioritisation is a big part of this job. Another day might just be working on service boxes in a subdivision."

Connexis Interim-Chief Executive David Worsnop says, that while women make up 50 percent of the country's population, less than 4 percent of women are trade and technical trainees with Connexis. "We've identified women as a key potential source to help staff the workforce and industry are working alongside, actively supporting to promote and increase numbers."

David says that the Girls with Hi-Vis® campaign has yet again been a huge success with more than 100 participants, double the 2016 event. Next year Connexis is aiming in increase this number at least 150, with even more companies coming on board to show women what careers are available in the Infrastructure Industry.

David adds that the Government's recent announcement of an $11 billion investment into infrastructure further highlights the need for recruiting more quality workers into the industry. "New Zealand's Infrastructure Industry is already short of skilled staff with a prediction of 25,000 more workers required to meet industry demand over the next 3 years."

Industry partners for Girls with Hi-Vis® 2017: Visionstream, Auckland; WaterCare Auckland; Counties Power Manukau; Horizon Energy Group Whakatane; Mainpower, Rangiora Meridian and Wellington, Twizel; Genesis Energy Turangi; and Vector, Taranaki.


"The open day at Genesis Energy in Turangi was fantastic. I really enjoyed the opportunity to inspire other women and give them an insight into the Energy Industry."

Millie Burry

Connexis Trainee

"The feedback from the Meridian Energy Twizel event was excellent. Everyone loved the hands on activities, especially pulling apart the pumps and building the dams, and I think it was an added bonus for them to be working at the station. The experience has opened their eyes to new opportunities they would not have considered otherwise."

Jade Lloyd

Mechanical Engineer & Project Manager, Meridian

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