Holly turns her love of engineering into a career with Meridian Energy

Chloe Energy, Ultimit/Women in Infrastructure

Holly Frewen is engineering herself a bright future.

The 16-year-old Twizel Area School student now spends one day a week working with Meridian Energy’s mechanical team at Ohau as part of the Gateway programme, designed to attract and train new talent.

She wishes it was more. “It’s so great, I’m really loving it. I wish I could be there more.”

That wish may yet come true for Holly as Meridian is looking to support her through a Mechanical Pre-trade course before taking her on as an apprentice.

For Holly, her new prospective career path all began with a visit to Meridian via last year’s Girls with Hi-Vis® (GWHV) event in Twizel.

“I was already taking engineering in school but had never really thought about taking it further. That Girls with Hi-Vis® event really opened my eyes to what was possible.

“There’s just such a massive range of things to work on from week to week. I really like the hands-on parts of the job, but there’s such a variety.”

Holly says girls who are looking to work in areas like mechanical engineering have to really seek out information on what is available, rather than waiting for it to come to them. The GWHV really helps with opening your eyes to possibilities girls might not know are out there, she says.

“I would definitely recommend it to other girls. At least have a look, even if you don’t think it’s going to interest you.

“I know lots of girls who went last year, and even if they weren’t considering jobs even related to what Meridian do, they got a lot out of it and really enjoyed the experience.”

She adds that Meridian have been particularly supportive and make sure she knows what her options are.

“They’ve really helped me understand how the pre-trades process works and what it can lead to. They’ve talked to me about exactly what is involved and about other students who have done Gateway and then gone on from there. It sounds really great.

“I can say that I definitely have a career path in mind now, and I don’t think I could have said that a year ago.”