The future of our workforce

Bringing through the best people

The workforce of tomorrow will look very different from our current ranks. Our search for the best people we can attract takes many forms.

Bringing through the next generation of people

Traditionally, generation, with its 80% male workforce, has had the biggest gender gap. In FY20 all our graduates have happened to be female – an encouraging sign that we’re also on our way to a better gender balance.

Succession planning is a key aspect of maintaining the performance of our assets over the years. A significant percentage of our experienced staff may soon be considering retirement. To help ensure that their skills are passed on, we actively encouraged young professionals to join our teams and offer opportunities for people to complete their trade apprenticeships with us. Our goal is to ensure that, as people consider retirement, they’re supported to transition out of work smoothly (for example, through part-time arrangements) and there are clear succession plans for their areas of expertise.

Our graduate and apprentice programmes have worked well in this regard, producing a core cohort who are now entering our business. More enquiries from younger people mean we’re growing a critical mass of youth in hydro and lowering our median age in this important part of our business.

Generation and Wholesale staff turning age 65

FY17 FY18 FY19 FY20
In five years 10.20% 9.1% 10.9% 12.2%
In ten years 22.7% 20.3% 22.5% 24.1%

Diversity by age (headcount)

Diversity by age chart
Over 50 30 - 50 Under 30
1st Diversity by age chart
Over 50 30 - 50 Under 30
2nd Diversity by age chart
Over 50 30 - 50 Under 30

* Includes Dam Safety Intelligence
** Includes Flux-UK staff

Future-proofing our workforce

As part of our bid to future-proof our workforce, Meridian Group signed up to the Aotearoa New Zealand Skills Pledge in FY20. This initiative encourages companies to invest in technology and reskilling people for future roles by doubling the amount of formal and informal training. As part of the Pledge, we undertook to disclose publicly our investment in on-the-job training and re-skilling hours annually and to double the number of on-the-job training and reskilling hours we provide by 2025.

To help us find the people we’ll need in the future, we also invested in new recruitment and learning solution technology that will enable us to proactively identify who could form part of our future workforce as well as better support our people’s growth and development.

Our training focus changed in FY20 as well. One of the biggest lessons we learned when we reviewed our skills was that we need to build softer capabilities into the ways we work, such as those needed for dealing with situations of ambiguity and driving for results. These ways of working focus on capabilities beyond technical skills, and 70 leaders in our customer-facing teams received training on them.

Taking into account eLearning and facilitated learning, our people received an average of 52 hours of learning on the job in FY20. Our goal is to double that amount by 2025.

FY20 Learning hours per person from eLearning and courses

Hours Leadership Professional Techinical / Functional Total
Meridian LMS Courses (eLearning modules) 216 Modules
6,480 hours
672 Modules
20,160 hours
787 Modules 50,250 hours *
Meridian Development Courses 4,640 (n=232) 0 0 4,640 **
External-run courses 1,677 (n=219) 0 0 1,677 ***
FY total learning hours 56,567
YTD Total (56,567 learning hours/headcount n=1,1078 ****) 52 hours per person

* Modules are completed in financial year 2020. Modules are averaged on 30 minutes per module from Learning Report.
** Internal Development Courses financial year 2020, 232 people across Initiate, Inspire, Keeping The Blue, Presentation Skills and Flux Mentor Programme etc.
*** External Development Courses, FY20.
**** Headcount excluding casuals, parental leave. Includes parent and subsidiaries.

If we were to double the number of OTJ (On the Job) learning hours this would equate to:

  • 104 hours per person per year
  • 2.6 weeks/ 13 days