Girls with Hi-Vis event sparks interest in industry

WEL Networks showcased what a career in the electricity distribution industry could look like as part of a Girls with Hi-Vis (GWHV) event run in partnership with Connexis.

Girls with Hi-Vis gives female students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience, hear from inspirational women in the industry and learn what a career in the infrastructure industries and trade sectors can offer. This is the second GWHV event that WEL Networks has hosted.

This year’s nationwide annual event will involve close to 900 students, from 97 schools, that will attend 46 GWHV events over the next two months.

19 students from Ngaruawahia High School, Hamilton Girl’s High School and Fraser High School, participated in a number of presentations and practical activities that introduced them to Line Mechanic, Cable Jointer, Electrical Fitter and Civil career pathways.

WEL Networks Trainee Cable Jointer Tamea Te Rauna, who is now more than year into her cable jointing apprenticeship, took the lead on the cable termination activity.

Students had to do a cable joint and then terminate that cable into a pillar.

“They did really well. The more exposure you get the more you’re going to learn,” she said.

“I really liked the idea of doing an apprenticeship because you get a qualification at the end of it, and you can earn while you’re doing it. The role of being a cable jointer is not as high profile as some other trades. It’s quite a hard job sometimes and it’s not going to appeal to everyone, but I get really great satisfaction from it; from doing something practical and seeing the finished result.”

With an interest in becoming an electrician, Lily Allen wanted to explore what the electricity distribution industry involves.

The 15-year-old Hamilton Girls High School student enjoyed the cable termination activity. “It was harder than I thought it would be, but it was fun.”

Hamilton Girls High School student Kate Anderson, 15, also enjoyed the cable termination activity. “It was good, I like being hands on and actually experiencing what it’s like to do this sort of thing.”

Students were left with a potential career spark ignited thanks to the team of WEL representatives that assisted on the day.

2IC Data Capture/Network Surveyor Jamie Walton has loved being involved in the workshops and being part of creating a change in the industry.

“Everyone that was involved had great interactive activities and information for the girls. We got to see girls from our last event who had decided this is what they wanted to do and are now working towards joining the industry which is so fulfilling. It’s a fantastic opportunity for our apprentices to step up and lead which they all did brilliantly.”