Maintenance Matters
Joel Leonard – Voice of the next generation

I believe with engineering developing within the younger generation we will see a boom in young engineers who are looking to support the industry sector in jobs such as maintenance engineers.
Obstacles mainly include the fact that these days the youth do not know what maintenance engineering is, or where it will take you in life. How do you overcome this?
I think you need to have exposure to these sorts of jobs, and the industry pathways a maintenance engineer or engineer, as a young person during the most important decision-making time at school.
MESNZ scholarship winner and chairman of the newly formed Youth Development Committee, Connor Hobbs says most young students are completely unaware that engineering is actually very broad in nature.
“You need youth to choose engineering in general before they choose maintenance engineering,” he says.
I believe your strongest chances at exposure to youth about engineering and maintenance engineering are the local career pathway days in each community that are held annually.
“If MESNZ got into contact with each local organization and found out how they can come along and promote engineering, then you will have a higher flow of incoming maintenance engineers,” says Connor.
“I think it is important to not force youth and tell them that they must become a maintenance engineer. Instead, at this stage, you need to promote engineering in general – perhaps with the cooperation of IPENZ at these functions and perhaps plant the seed about maintenance engineering through the work of MESNZ while at these events.”
It’s clear that the real work and decisions about detailed pathways will be done when conferences are held for first year engineers in the main universities for engineering.
“This first year is critical to securing future generations of maintenance engineers because the first year of engineering we are exposed to every type of engineering and most of the time in our courses they may not have as much exposure as what civil or mechanical will have, for example,” says Connor.
“If you have a conference that educates youth about maintenance engineering and have a lecture or video that you show during the lecture then you will plant the option of maintenance engineering into there minds. “This will help narrow down their choices before heading into the second year of university.”
Connor says that New Zealand has a lot of youth who want to be engineers and there are certainly vast amounts of talent to tap into.
“It’s just the problem of companies and organizations such as MESNZ and IPENZ using their resources and putting conferences together for the youth of our generation,” he says. “It will certainly help us and the future of engineering a lot.”
Perhaps even creating an educational video that is actually interesting to watch about maintenance engineering and what it includes will raise awareness.
“I believe MESNZ also needs to create a Facebook page and so does IPENZ if it doesn’t have one,” says Connor.
“This is where the youth of today are all located and if you post details about up and coming conferences, videos highlighting what the industry includes, etc, then you will generate more interest in the maintenance engineering sector.
“Facebook is one of the biggest tools to use currently and everyone uses it and will not miss your updates if you have a page that is liked by a lot of people.”

Contact Joel Leonard, the ‘maintenance evangelist’ at www.SkillTV.Net

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