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WelTec Works with Genesis Energy to Upgrade Skills

Wellington Institute of Technology (WelTec)
Media Release
Date: 15 March 2005
Authorised: Dr Linda Sissons
For Immediate Release

WelTec Works with Genesis Energy to Upgrade Industry Skills

Following a competitive tender, Genesis Energy has selected WelTec (Wellington Institute of Technology) for a national contract to train new recruits for the electricity supply industry.

WelTec will provide specialised mechanical and electrical engineering programmes for Genesis Energy, an electricity generator and energy retailer in New Zealand.

Genesis Energy says a huge shortage of skilled new entrants to the electricity supply industry has prompted it to fund the training programme. Over 100 people applied for the 20 places available on the training programme.

CEO of WelTec, Dr Linda Sissons is pleased to be working directly with industry to address the training requirements of the electricity supply sector, “The future for our country lies in innovation, which depends on life-long learning and continual upgrading of knowledge and skills – both for workers and industries. This is the beginning of a long-term partnership for WelTec and Genesis Energy.”

The first intake of Genesis Energy trainees began their studies at WelTec on March 14, 2005. Approximately 60 participants overall will be trained over the next six years. The first year trainees will complete a six month course at WelTec’s Petone campus before commencing their practical training. A unique feature of the Genesis Energy programme is that 15 host companies will provide practical training to the apprentices over a four year period.

WelTec’s Head of School, Engineering, Andrew Batt, says the courses will provide foundation level training in electrical and mechanical engineering. “We are proud to be chosen as part of this project. I also congratulate Genesis Energy and host companies for making such a commitment to staff training in order to address the long term needs of the industry.”

Genesis Energy Chief Executive, Murray Jackson, said, “We appreciate the value of skilled labour in our company. We want to ensure that future skill levels and performance standards are maintained in order to meet the operating and maintenance requirements of the existing Genesis Energy owned 1600MW of generation and $850 million of new generation investments. Graduates from the programme will be able to progress to engineering and science degrees and see further career development with Genesis Energy.

Mr Jackson said the scheme was designed to immediately address the commissioning requirements for new Genesis Energy power plant such as the new 385MW combined cycle gas turbine in construction at Huntly and the ageing workforce within the power industry as well as national trades skills shortage facing the country.

“The business risk if we don’t train new staff is that competency levels would drop, quality standards will be eroded, and the performance of industry in the coming years will be at risk,” he said.

Ends

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