Connexis Excellent Award - Luke Thornley

Netcon Timaru lineman Luke Thornley wins Connexis ITO distribution trainee of the year award.

When the power goes out while you are trying to cook dinner or make a cup of coffee, one of the people you can thank for getting it back up and running is Timaru man Luke Thornley.

Thornley, a lineman who works for Netcon in Timaru, is pretty good at his job - he's just won a Connexis Distribution Trainee of the Year award. Connexis is the infrastructure industry training organisation.

The trainee excellence awards celebrate the best and brightest trainees working in the electricity supply and telecommunications industries and those who have made a significant contribution to the industry through their enthusiasm and commitment to industry training.

Thornley, 36, formerly an IT worker for Alpine Energy, has been with Netcon, a subsidary of that company, for two years. He said he took the job because he needed a change.

He has been involved in doing block courses and due to his excellent performance in those, Netcon's manager of operations Dan Batchelor and foreman Richard Phimister suggested he "have a crack" at the award.

Connexis Excellent Award - Luke Thornley

They put forward Thornley's nomination which went before a panel of judges. The judges spoke to Thornley's trainers and work mentors before deciding he was a worthy recipient. Batchelor said Netcon takes on at least four trainees each year and currently has six in the business. Thornley is highly regarded by his peers, Batchelor said.

"He is on our leadership team representing workers and on the health and safety committee. He is also the delegate for the union," he said. "As someone who has just finished his training, it is quite an exception to be in these roles and is a testament to the type of guy he is," he said. Thornley said he enjoys the job because it requires a high level of safety and "makes you think actively about the job".

The award is really a credit to the people he works with, he said. "They have shown me a lot of stuff. A lot of the guys have been there 25 years doing it and showing me ways of doing stuff. There are people throughout the South Island who have helped me," Thornley said.

>>Source: stuff - Helen Tatham<<

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NETcon is the main contractor to Alpine Energy.

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Infratec is a division of NETcon, specialised in end-to-end renewable energy.

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