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Northpower Continues Support of Esito Excellence Award

Northpower Continues Support of Esito Excellence Award

Northpower’s on-going support as premier sponsor of this year’s ESITO Excellence Awards is an indication of the company’s commitment to best practice in the electricity supply industry and development of its people, says ESITO chief executive Dr Tim Densem.

Nominations for the 2011 ESITO Excellence Awards, which will be held in Hamilton in November, are now open and will run through to September 23.

The awards celebrate the best and brightest trainees currently working in the electricity supply and telecommunications industries. The awards also celebrate those who have made a significant contribution to the electricity supply industry through their enthusiasm and commitment to industry training.

There are six award categories – Advanced Trainee of the Year; Business Support/Retail Trainee of the Year; Generation Trainee of the Year; Networks Trainee of the Year; Telecommunications Trainee of the Year; and Contribution to Industry Training. An Overall ESITO Trainee of the Year will be selected from the five ‘trainee of the year’ award winners.

Finalists will receive complimentary tickets to the ESITO Excellence Awards dinner, to be held on November 3 at The Atrium in Hamilton. Their travel and accommodation expenses will also be covered. The winners in each award category will receive a $500 cash prize.

“As the premier sponsor, Northpower is very proud to be associated with ESITO’s Excellence Awards. We have some fantastic people in the industry and we want to celebrate the excellence they demonstrate,” said Barbara Harrison, Northpower’s General Manager Business Support, who is part of the judging panel for the awards.

As part of its own drive to be the best it can be in health and safety and in the development of its people, Northpower’s initiatives over the past eight years have included the introduction of ‘Trade Coaches’, Pushback (which empowers employees to speak up and stop a job if they feel that their health and safety is being compromised) and Whiteboard (the simplicity of using a whiteboard on worksites to outline project planning and hazard management).

Northpower also enters the ESITO Line Mechanic Competition annually – an event the company’s field teams are very keen on taking part in and the inter-company competition to be the best and safest is very healthy.

While Northpower has been on a clear path of self-improvement Barbara considers the company, like many in the industry, still has a long way to go. She is also concerned about the serious challenges the industry faces from a HR perspective.

“The industry’s whole workforce is ageing so there is need to support more, and younger, trainees entering the industry. This is an industry wide challenge. The average age of field staff is 40 and closer to 30 would be great,” Barbara said.

“From a staff development perspective, we are trying to have a good level of trainees coming through the business – women and men. On average we have 20 trainee technicians and line mechanics annually coming through and as our business grows the intent will be to lift this number.

“We are also involved with the Women in Power initiative, of which ESITO is providing leadership to the industry on.”

More information and nomination forms for the 2011 ESITO Excellence Awards can be obtained at www.esito.org.nz/annual_connection/excellence_awards.aspx.

ENDS

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