With Hawke's Bay businesses struggling to attract talent to the Bay, Unison Contracting Services (UCSL) has opted to grow their own, hiring eight people into trainee roles.
It is the second recruitment drive to meet future needs, initially hiring seven trainees in 2009.
With the 2009 intake completing their qualifications this year, UCSL has employed a further four trainee line mechanics and four apprentice electricians, spread across its Hawke's Bay, Taupo and Rotorua depots.
"There is a national and global shortage of experienced technical personnel, and to address this risk to our business, we are developing our own resources," UCSL CEO Charles Kaka said.
With an ageing New Zealand workforce and the roll out of Unison Networks' Smart Grid, Mr Kaha said it was important to attract youth.
"We anticipate that to meet our needs over the next three to five years, we will need to recruit approximately six new trainees each year," he said.
"This provides us the opportunity to offer career pathways in a growth industry, and we are committed to extending this to local people within our regions."
UCSL earlier this year signed a memorandum of understanding with Ngati Kahungunu, committing to offer jobs to Maori youth as part of the iwi's "CliK" programme.
"As a result of our focus on providing opportunities to our local community, we have developed a network for recruiting people who can show a willingness to learn, a passion for the industry and a positive attitude. Through our contacts with the U-Turn Trust, the Eastern Institute of Technology, Ngati Kahungunu, local high schools, and staff relationships, we attracted over 60 applicants in our last recruitment drive," he said.
The Government and the Electrical Supply Industry Training Organisation (ESITO) are developing nationwide initiatives to address industry talent shortage. ESITO has partnered with the Ministry of Maori Development to create cadetships for Maori youth while the Ultimit programme focuses on attracting women into the industry.