WEL trainee among New Zealand’s rising electrical stars

09 Oct 2018

WEL Networks’ Elliot McKinnon was recognised as New Zealand’s Advanced Trainee of the Year at an awards ceremony in Christchurch last week.

The 31-year-old received his award as part of the Connexis Annual Connection Excellence Awards on Thursday 4 October, which celebrates the country’s rising stars and top trainers in the energy industry.

The Advanced Trainee Award recognises someone who has demonstrated high levels of excellence during training, a positive attitude, dedication to learning and who is a role model to their peers.

Elliot, who is training to be a Protection Technician, said he was humbled by the accolade.

“It’s a nice feeling to be recognised for your efforts – I’m pretty chuffed.”

Elliot is currently completing his New Zealand Certificate in Electricity Supply (Power Technician) and says he enjoys the ongoing learning and comradery that his role offers.

“I learn something new every single day and I get a real sense of accomplishment and satisfaction after a successful day’s work. I’m also fortunate to work in a great team – everybody shares their knowledge.”

His work involves testing, commissioning and finding faults on the devices that monitor power lines, cables and regulate voltage, as well as the testing and protection of transformers and substation equipment. 

He has plans to pursue a New Zealand Diploma in Engineering in the future. 

Elliot’s win backs up WEL’s strong record of producing talented trainees, with Narelle Phillips taking home Distribution Trainee of the Year and Overall Trainee of the Year at last year’s event.

The awards followed three days of intense competition by linesmen and cable jointers from around the country in the Connexis Annual Connection, with WEL’s team of linesmen taking home a win in the Testing to Ensure Safety event.