Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Our FAQs below are sorted into topics for easy reference. If you have a question not answered here, please contact us at grid.skills@transpower.co.nz

 

Topic: Why is the class I want not available?

Why aren’t there more Substation Induction (SI) courses?

We currently offer monthly SI courses in Auckland, Wellington, and Christchurch. We know there may be interest in staging courses at other locations, so please be sure to let us know using the Interest Track feature in MySkills. You may also contact Aleisha Millington directly to register your interest in running the course at another location.

 

Why does Grid Skills only offer safety training for the electrical industry and no other trades (i.e. building and construction)?

We are currently in the process of reviewing the training we offer for all workers on our sites. We expect to share our findings next year.

 

What can I do as a Training Approver if I can’t reach the minimum number of participants required for a course?

If you are having a hard time finding enough participants to hold a course, please let us know. We will check our Interest Tracking and waitlist to see if we may be able to make up the minimum numbers required.

 

Why aren’t there more Substation Maintainer and Permit Holder courses?

The current level of demand for these courses seems to have been met by our current schedule. Three Permit Holder courses were recently run with spaces available. The majority of Substation Maintainer courses also run with spaces available.  There have also been courses cancelled due to lack of interest / low enrolment.

Check the MySkills calendar for upcoming courses as these are currently planned out to the end of 2017.

 

I am concerned by a lack of Maintenance Switcher Refresher training. Why isn’t this offered?

We currently offer this course on a monthly basis out of our Bunnythorpe or Western Road locations.  Even though courses are available for registration up to 18 months before the session start date, there are occasions when we have to cancel the training due to the low number of learners registered. 

The Maintenance Switcher Refresher courses are available in MySkills through to the end of 2017 so don’t forget to register on the course that best suits your timeframes.

 

Last year I used the Interest Track in MySkills for Live Line Training; why has this course not yet been offered?

A Live Line course was scheduled and ran as a full session.   When you Interest Track in MySkills you receive a system automated system email advising when a course has been scheduled so don’t forget to register for the training once you have received this. 

 

When is SF6 training going to be available?

The first of three SF6 programmes will be piloted in later this year.

 

Why is Cable Framework training not being offered?

Unfortunately, there weren’t enough people who wanted to take this course. We still want this training to be available to learners, so we are currently exploring alternative training sources to make this a possibility.

 

What if I can’t complete a course, because it isn’t currently offered?

You may have noticed our Vegetation Training is currently unavailable. We are working to resolve this issue by the end of 2016. By the start of 2017, we intend to have a third party provider in place for training. Part of this process is an evaluation of our specifications and training procedures that will be required for all Vegetation Control work. 

 

Why are courses only run when the classes are completely full?

We do have a minimum number of Learners who need to be enrolled for a class to take place, but there is no need for a class to be completely full before it proceeds. The reason for requiring minimum Learner numbers is largely due to the practical nature of the work, but can also be determined by the economic factors of staging a course.

 

Topic: Why is the class I want not available where I want?

Why are there not more local courses?

We are happy to schedule classes in areas outside of the main centres when there is sufficient demand and the course content allows flexibility of location.  The majority of our courses require the use of de-energised equipment to train on so there are limitations on where we can run our training.   We monitor demand through the Interest Track feature of MySkills to determine the need for regional classes.

 

Why can’t the Maintenance Switcher Refresher, Permit Holder Refresher courses not be run more locally?

These courses need to be run with de-energised equipment, which is why a majority of the courses are held at Western Road and Bunnythorpe as those sites are our dedicated substation training centres. A smaller number of courses are also held at Islington, in Christchurch. Due to the need to take equipment out of service, there are a limited number of approved locations that are able to be used for training. 

 

Topic: Why are courses structured the way they are?

Why do Learners have to arrive the day before a course starts, and leave a day after it completes?

Our Learners must endure a tight workshop agenda, packed with information that has already been compressed to the shortest time possible. To compress the agenda further would reduce the effectiveness of the training and compromise the quality of the course.

 

Why do refresher courses take so long? Can’t they be compressed?

We are in the process of reviewing refresher courses and how we may be able to compress the time needed to complete them.

 

Why do Substation Maintainer courses need to be completed in sequence? This causes delays in training.

From August 1st Learners only need to complete SMPR Part A and Part B in order.   Once Parts A & B have been completed Learners are free to select the remaining courses in any order they require. 

 

Why are the Substation Maintainer courses not structured so a Learner is on a set 12 month schedule to get the training completed?

Omaka did trial this concept, but it was suspended after a number of Learners dropped out or wanted to reschedule how they were scheduled in the training cycle. Gaps opened in the set training schedule, which made the whole cycle unsustainable. Training on a set-cycle schedule also took away from a Learner’s ability to have some control over which courses they took and when. 

 

Why is there no pathway for Protection Techs?

Unfortunately, we have struggled to find appropriate training facilities to implement this pathway. We are currently working to resolve the issue, which we expect to do by December 2016.

 

Topic: Miscellaneous

Why isn’t the accommodation allowance higher?

We review the accommodation allowance annually to ensure we are aligned with market rates. At the present time we believe there may be sometimes when the accommodation allowance is lower than a room rate that is available, but we feel that these times average out against the times that room rates are below the allowance.  The accommodation allowance was last reviewed in July 2016.

 

Why are courses not NZQA recognised?

Some of the Grid Skills courses do have unit standards that are registered with NZQA.  If a course does have unit standards attached to it you will be able see the details on the course description in MySkills.  

 

Topic: Why isn’t MySkills easier to use?

Why isn’t it possible for a Training Approver to see a report on only those Learners associated with them?

The reporting in MySkills isn’t the best, and we know that. We are currently trialling a work-around and we hope to introduce it in the near future. In the meantime, Aleisha Millington is available to assist you with your reporting needs.

 

Why don’t I have a single point of contact, with personal contact details for a member of the Grid Skills team in MySkills?

We want your queries to be answered in a timely manner, and with a single point of contact your message may go to someone who is out of the office due to annual leave, sickness, training, etc. Using a shared mailbox allows our team to work together to ensure messages are always addressed in a timely fashion.

The whole system was easier when Grid Skills was Omaka; can’t we go back?

Omaka had a dedicated staff of seven individuals who worked with manual records in a labour-intensive and time-consuming system. In order to focus our efforts on providing the best possible training and support for Learners we introduced the streamlined and automated MySkills system. We believe MySkills provides better value and returns in the long run for all involved.

 

Why is MySkills difficult to pick back up when I haven’t used it in a while?

We all tend to find things more difficult when we are out of practice and MySkills is no different. We are here to help if you find you’re a bit rusty when it comes to MySkills, and we have a range of self-help guides available on the welcome pages in MySkills and the Transpower website in the Grid Skills section.

 

As a Transpower staff member I’m finding myT competency renewal difficult. What can I do to make the process easier?

The Volt is a great place to start for guidance. Use the search bar to get information related to the course you are interested in. If you get stuck, please reach out to us in the Grid Skills team.

 

I’d like to give the Grid Skills team some feedback. How do I do that?

We’d love to hear from you! Use the Contact Us link in the Grid Skills section of the Transpower website, Email Us, or phone us on 06 357 0919