Tongan linesmen to work for New Zealand Northpower company

An opportunity for employment in  the Northpower company  New Zealand was given to ten Tonga Power linesmen. There is  a significant skill shortage in New Zealand and Tonga Power agreed for  Northpower to recruit its linesmen as the overseas utility companies are bracing for staff shortage and devising strategies to recruit more workers, Tonga Power company said.

This is not the first time for Northpower to recruit Tongans linesmen as in 2006 it "employed 25 linesmen from offshore, primarily from Tonga, and has continued to maintain a strong relationship with Tonga since. This opened up employment and career development opportunities for the Tongan trades people".

Rod Lowe, Distribution Manager for Tonga Power Limited said “this career opportunity was advertised internally and is a structured process to help those who want to move overseas and apply their skills, the move will be fully supported to help our staff and their families settle into their new homes. The successful applicants are expected to leave Tonga in late June depending on the completion of Stage 1 of the Tonga Village Network Upgrade”.

He said, “The expression of interest was sent out to all Tonga Power linesmen and 24 applied for this career opportunity with Northpower. These applicants have been shortlisted to 10”.

John van Brink, Chief Executive for Tonga Power Limited said, “This is a great opportunity for our staff.  We have been able to train our linemen to New Zealand qualification standard and their skills are widely sought after.  It is extremely satisfying for our Board to see how Tonga Power can support our staff and give them an opportunity to take their skills to a new level, the Northpower arrangement means that the shift to a new job and family home is trouble free and more importantly the staff and their families have an on-going support structure to help them settle into a new country.

For Tonga Power it means we can manage how we replace skilled staff with new trainees and bring employment opportunities to the community.”

“As part of their initial training with Northpower, the ten linesmen will work to gain qualifications of an international standard, recognised by the New Zealand Qualification Authority (NZQA) in New Zealand.

Northpower have offices throughout the North Island, in Whangarei, Auckland, Tauranga, Waikato, Rotorua, Hawkes Bay and are active in Perth, Australia”

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