New training centre to open in Hamilton

Jeremy Sole - etco* CEO

We will be opening a new training centre in Hamilton to help meet a nationwide shortage of thousands of electricians. “Hamilton is growing at a faster rate than the national average and there is significant demand for electricians to support the construction, industrial and domestic sectors,” said etco* Chief Executive Jeremy Sole.

etco* has signed a lease for a building on The Boulevard, Te Rapa. The design process is now underway for the centre, which will include state of the art training equipment.

“There is a critical shortage of licensed electricians in New Zealand - it’s estimated that 3,000 more are needed to meet demand, including in construction,” said Mr Sole. “Currently we have 600 apprentices in various stages of training with etco* and our goal is to increase that to 1000 within five years.

“Our new training centre will help to meet that local and national demand and we are looking to recruit more apprentices from across the region, providing additional opportunities for young people suited to a career in the sector.

“The new centre will be equipped with the most modern learning technology, including online learning systems, much of which has only recently become available to the sector.”

Mr Sole said the Hamilton classes are heavily oversubscribed and apprentices training in the Waikato currently have to travel to etco’s Rotorua training centre to undertake block courses. All courses for local students will now be provided at the Hamilton centre which is due to open on 1 September.

“Demand is such that every one of our apprentices is currently in a placement,” said Mr Sole. “We have a 95 per cent completion rate and our apprentices typically achieve 10 per cent higher grades in their exams than others do elsewhere in the sector.

“We are also unique in the level of support and pastoral care we provide to our apprentices – which is underlined by the positive feedback we receive from host companies. etco* manages the apprenticeship from beginning to end and our coordinators, who visit apprentices in the workplace, are also registered electricians.”