NETcon's Line Mechanic Training Day a Hit!

Training Day 1
Training Day 2

Nearly a dozen potential trainees tried out their head for heights as part of NETcon's line mechanics' training day on Saturday, 20th May 2019.

While the annual training day normally attracts five applicants, this year there was double the interest, which communications advisor Rebecca Flannery said was "fabulous" and believed was "quite exciting for the industry going forward".

Training involves giving potential trainees a taste of the job's different aspects, particularly working with heights along with the opportunity to talk with former trainees.

NETcon chief executive John Greenwood, who began his career as a linesman, said the day aims to "give them a good understanding of what work life is all about."

Attendees learned about some of the typical line skills, such as ladder handling, and then got to put them into practice.

Applicants in one exercise were taken up to nine metres high in a bucket truck and once strapped into their safety equipment they were attached to a pole and instructed to lean back to get a sense of what working that high up was like, Greenwood said.

"Some people can't handle it; can't let that control go."

Besides being okay with heights, the company were looking for people who like working outside, and were preferably from South Canterbury.

"It's sometimes difficult if you bring people in; they've got connections, family somewhere else."

While anyone could attend the training day, the focus was on young people, often those who had just finished school or graduated, and not already tied into a career path.

However, there was room for progression within the company, whether as a team leader or a more specialist mechanic, for example, he said.

"Some people love it and stay, some people don't like it and move on."

People skills was another important trait, and so was being able to handle the physical demands of the job; and both men and women were welcome.

"Women can be very successful at it. We have one lady line mechanic now, who has just attended a leadership training course with Outward Bound [New Zealand]."

Flannery also got to have a go at being up a pole, and said "I loved it".