Pictured: Taya McGuillicuddy on site.

Recently qualified Ventia New Zealand Electrician, Taya McGillicuddy has her sights set on a very bright and rewarding future, thanks to her willingness to take on new challenges, superior attention to detail and work ethic, and her determination to succeed. – particularly in a somewhat male-dominated industry.

Like many young people, Taya McGillicuddy was unsure what she wanted to do with her life. While working in hospitality she decided she wanted to carve out a more challenging career and develop new skills. 

Following in the footsteps of her brother and father who work as line mechanics, Taya seized the opportunity to enter the electrical industry via Ventia’s apprenticeship programme in 2019 – and the rest is history. 

Now a Registered Electrician and Communications Technician, Taya works in the Haywards Projects Team taking care of the installation and maintenance of substations and other critical infrastructure throughout New Zealand. She also assists Ventia’s communications teams on an ad- hoc basis, allowing her to develop complementary skills laying and connecting fibre optic cables and working with telecommunications technology. 

According to Project Teams Supervisor, James Whitchelo, Taya has progressed rapidly, impressing her peers and managers with her work ethic and outstanding attention to detail.  

“Taya has excelled from day dot,” he said. “She puts the effort in, does an amazing job and makes it all look good.” 

Taya has proved herself to be competent at handling a wide range of projects all over the country, including at Redclyffe Substation in Hawke’s Bay where she played a crucial role in restoring communications in the area after a major outage caused by Cyclone Gabrielle. 

Pictured: Taya McGuillicuddy

During this critical event, Taya had to put all her skills into use, working alongside a colleague to re-establish a vital fibre optic telecommunications link to the substation that had been lost after a bridge carrying a fibre cable was washed out.

"Arriving on a helicopter with a first response team, she helped re-establish communications by running a new fibre optic cable across a river, over trees and under mangled railways,” James said. 

“She has also been relied upon to handle electrical maintenance work for several of the traction substations that provide power for KiwiRail’s trains, keeping crucial transport links running,” he said. 

You can tell if Taya’s working on a site because it’s very organised, which reflects her methodical approach to work.

"She is very reliable, very helpful and easy to get on with – a perfect employee. You always know what you’re going to get with Taya.” 

Not content to rest on her laurels, Taya has decided to continue with her studies following completion of her apprenticeship, and recently began a Diploma in Construction Management. 

With her dedication, self-discipline and ‘can do’ attitude, Taya has confidently forged a new career for herself, picking up new skills quickly and overcoming all challenges she faced – all hallmarks for a very bright future ahead indeed. 

For more information about Ventia’s apprenticeship and traineeship program visit https://www.ventia.com/page/apprenticeships-traineeships.