PNG Power breaking barriers


Caroline Lepatu is proof that power is not all about men.
As a mechanical engineering graduate from Unitech, she has joined PNG Power Ltd’s graduate development programme and breaking down barriers.
“As a graduate, I have had experience with diesel engines and maintenance in Lae, hydro machines at Rouna, in Port Moresby, and now I am working with gas turbines at Kanudi power station,” said Lepatu, who graduated from Papua New Guinea University of Technology in 2015.
“PNG Power is doing well by recruiting women in a male-dominated field which is very encouraging for other females who wish to develop their career in this direction.”
PNG Power Ltd’s graduate development programme is continuing to empower young graduates in a push to boost education and experience in the country’s workforce.
This year’s new intakes have already been selected and those who entered the programme in 2016 will be finishing off next month.
“We are looking for available positions in the company so that they are appointed to new positions and we will get the new ones in,” acting general manager human resources Andrew Kavanamur said in a statement.
“The graduates are well looked after by the company in terms of accommodation and wages.”
Kavanamur said the successful applicants go through a process of training and development for two years, rotating in different fields or trades within PNG Power.
“We receive over hundreds of applications through mail and email and those who meet the requirements are shortlisted and then go through an elimination process until we get to the final 20,” he said.
The intakes then rotate through the fields of electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, information technology, finance, lands, human resources, business management and business economics. Applicants should be a recent graduate of a recognised university, have a minimum grade point average of three and above, and must be between the age of 19 and 25 years.
Charles Kinjibi is one such candidate. He graduated from the University of Papua New Guinea with a Bachelor in Business Economics in 2015 and joined the programme in October 2016.
“I find PNG Power to be a very interesting and promising organisation to work with and I am thankful for being given the opportunity,” Kinjibi said.
As the successor of PNG Electricity Commission, PNG Power Ltd is one of the biggest and oldest companies in the country.
“The main positive impact of the programme is the transfer of skills to the young ones joining the workforce,” Kavanamur said in a statement.
“If there were no programmes like this, then we would lose the skills in the process.
“We have an aging workforce and the graduate development programme acts as a bridge that connects the young and the old within the company. The trend is that we would get 20 candidates, train and develop them so when the older staff leaves, we already have someone to take their place.”
Kavanamur said PNG Power also accepts students from institutions like Don Bosco Technical Institute and Port Moresby Technical College into programmes like apprenticeships.
“We assist them as part of completing their assessment because they are also part of the future workforce of this nation,” he said.

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