What it does: Electricity and telecommunications
Staff stats: Around 1000
The good bits: Supportive colleagues
The not so good bits: Potentially slow career progression
The TasNetworks story
TasNetworks came into being on July 1, 2014, following the merger of Aurora Energy’s distribution network (i.e. poles and wires) and Transend Networks (i.e. big towers and lines). The state-owned corporation is responsible for supplying power to a quarter of a million Tasmanian homes and businesses. TasNetworks also owns and operates telecommunication infrastructure to “enable safe and efficient operation of the electricity system”. The corporation is part of the National Electricity Market. It is required to develop, operate and maintain its network under the National Electricity Rules. The Australian Energy Regulator determines what revenue TasNetworks can make and what it can charge its customers.
The corporation is divided into seven areas: Strategy and Stakeholder Relations; Strategic Asset Management; Works and Service Delivery; Customer Engagement and Network Operations; Finance and Business Services; People and Performance; Company Secretary and General Counsel.
The head office is the Hobart suburb of Lenah Valley. The corporation also has major resource centres, substations and regional depots scattered across Tasmania.
TasNetworks is committed to recruiting those from “many parts of our community”. The corporation is at pains not to discriminate on the basis of gender, cultural or religious background, disability, age, sexual orientation or family responsibilities. It seeks to integrate diversity into its “training, policies and procedures” and “promote diversity in every part of our business”.
Tasmania would grind to halt without reliable power and telecommunication services. TasNetworks staff take pride in their mission to “safely deliver electricity and telecommunications network services and complementary services, creating value for our customers, our owners and our community”.
The corporation funds organisations and initiatives that “contribute to the wellbeing of the Tasmanian community”. It supports Rural Alive and Well (a suicide-prevention organisation), Tasmania Fire Service, Trowunna Wildlife Park, Tasmanian Renewable Energy Alliance, Council of the Ageing, Greening Australia and the Sustainable Living Tasmania festival. It also sponsors Launceston’s Chamber of Commerce business awards and funds several PhD scholarships at the University of Tasmania.
The recruitment process
If you’re interested in a career at TasNetworks you may wish to apply for their three-month Summer Holiday Program.
TasNetworks currently only accept eight people into its grad program each year. There are five business areas the corporation recruits grads to work in:
- Engineering – Here you’ll be expected to help make TasNetworks’ infrastructure “robust, resilient and ready for tomorrow”
- Finance – Here you’ll be expected to help manage “an asset base valued at over $3 billion”
- People – Here you’ll be expected to help “create and enhance people programs that attract and engage one of the most diverse and highly skilled teams in the state”
- IT – Here you’ll be expected to help “empower TasNetworks team members to become technically savvy and astute”
- Business – Here you’ll be expected to “work across multiple business functions delivering the ultimate customer outcomes”
(In 2018, six electrical engineering grads will be recruited meaning the odds are grim if you’re applying for a grad role in other areas.)
TasNetworks doesn’t provide any information about its recruitment process. Those who’ve won a grad program spot in the past have had diverse experiences. These range from being offered a grad role after finishing an academic research project that involved TasNetworks, to submitting a resume and cover letter then doing a Skype interview, to being invited in to do a panel interview. Whatever type of interview you end up doing, you should be prepared to demonstrate your knowledge of TasNetworks, your technical abilities, your interpersonal skills and your passion. The first step to applying for any position at the corporation appears to be registering as an actual or potential job applicant here.
As is standard in the public sector, candidates are selected on merit. Merit is determined with reference to “an applicant's qualifications, knowledge, skills and potential for further development as assessed directly against the selection criteria relevant to each specific role”.
Those who make it into the grad program do a series of six-month rotations over three years. During this time, they are “offered unique opportunities to learn and excel in their day-to-day career, engage with exceptional leaders and team members, build a network of colleagues (and friends!) and work with industry leaders across the state”.
Unless you make it to the senior executive ranks (in 2017 the corporation’s CEO had a package worth $463,000) you’re not going to get wealthy overnight working at TasNetworks. Staff describe their pay as ranging from “fair” to “competitive”. Aside from a parking space, there don’t appear to be many perks on offer.
TasNetworks is a small corporation and once people get a job there they tend to hang around. While you’ll enjoy good job security, be aware you could be waiting for a long time for positions to open up. Of course, there is always the option of getting the necessary training and experience at TasNetworks then heading for the mainland in search of an employer offering swifter career progression.
Speaking of which, the corporation is “focused on developing our workforce to achieve improved safety, productivity and efficiencies and where necessary new skills required to meet the changing electrical environment”.
Two initiatives the corporation has introduced to achieve that aim are ‘Career Pathways’ and ‘Multi-skilling’. The former aims to create “clear pathways for team members to progress from apprentices through to technical leaders, team leaders and advisory positions with supporting competency-based training, secondment opportunities, on the job learning and assessment”. The latter aspires to create “a field workforce capable of completing a majority of electrical network activities”.
The vibe of the place
Staff seem to like working at TasNetworks, praising its relaxed dress code, the variety of interesting work on offer and the friendliness of their colleagues. Plus, managers are accessible both during business hours and at after-work events.
Star Rating: 4.3
From the Employer:
"Our Graduate Program exposes participants to real deliverables for the Tasmanian community.
Throughout the Program, our graduates are offered unique opportunities to learn and excel in their day-to-day career, engage with exceptional leaders and team members, build a network of colleagues (and friends!) and work with industry leaders across the state.
It's a challenging and rewarding learning experience that attracts quality graduates from Tasmania, Australia and the world.
Can you handle being exposed to every aspect of a company charged with the responsibility of delivering power safely and reliably to almost every Tasmanian, in almost every part of the state?
Can you handle an immersive process of six-month rotations across our entire business, being hands-on and creating skills and a reputation that your peers will envy?
Can you handle three years of challenges and experiences out in the field, behind a desk and in front of the leaders of one of Tasmania’s most important entities?
Our graduate program
Can you sit in the driver’s seat planning, designing and creating the largest single infrastructure in Tasmania? Can you make it robust, resilient and ready for tomorrow?
Can you contribute your skills to an asset base valued at over $3 billion? Can you help build on this financial strength with robust, bold and strategic initiatives?
Can you contribute, create and enhance people programs that attract and engage one of the most diverse and highly skilled teams in the state? Can you provide insight and initiatives to continually improve a high performance culture for over 1000 team members?
Can you handle the exposure to hundreds of specialised applications? Can you empower TasNetworks team members to become technically savvy and astute?
Can you strategise, analyse and energise the TasNetworks business? Can you work across multiple business functions delivering the ultimate customer outcomes?