5 Questions With Miles Hoste on Finding the Right PLT for the Job (2016)

November 04, 2016

Miles Hoste Featured
We had a chance to sit down with SaskPower Operations Manager Miles Hoste, to talk about Power Line Technicians (PLTs) and the challenges of finding the right people for the job.
  1. What is the challenge in hiring PLTs?

    Due to the nature of the work, this job isn't for everyone. The work PLTs do is physically demanding and requires a specific skill set. On any given day, a PLT can expect to be working from heights, working outdoors in tough weather conditions, driving large trucks while hauling trailers, and working on high voltage electrical facilities. Our challenge is finding quality people that are comfortable with this kind of work and can safely perform the tasks.

  2. Why do we need PLTs?

    Power Line Technicians are skilled tradespeople that operate our power systems and build and maintain the lines that deliver power across the province. We need PLTs to ensure that we are providing our customers with reliable power.

    Because of the demands of the job, this is a trade that's always in need of more qualified journeypersons. With upcoming retirements and continued growth, we are always looking for more potential candidates to fill these roles.

  3. How do we know if someone is right for the job?

    We start with a two day skills assessment that helps us determine whether a potential candidate has the safety values, physical and mental capabilities to become a PLT. Climbing power poles is something that all PLTs do regularly, so there is a large focus on that during the Skills Assessment Trade Orientation (SATO). However, there are a number of additional PLT-related tasks that the potential candidate will be evaluated on. By the end of the two day session, we hope to have a better idea whether that person is right for the job.

    Another reason we do this assessment is to give potential candidates a realistic preview of what they can expect to do as a PLT. Some will decide that the job isn't right for them and withdraw on their own.

  4. How can I learn more?

    Those who wanted to learn more about being a being a PLT and the two-day assessment program had the chance to take part in a PLT Live Chat on April 6, 2016. If you missed the live event, don't worry. You can find an archive of it on our website.

  5. What is the best part of being a PLT?

    I'd say that the best part of being a PLT is performing challenging tasks within a team environment. There's a sense of satisfaction one gains in working to maintain the reliability of the power grid, providing power to new customers and building new power line.

    But what really gives PLTs pride is getting the lights back on safely. Fixing power outages is some of the most physically and mentally demanding work that we face. Only Power Line Technicians know what it's like to go out during a summer storm or a cold winter's day and work to restore power. That sense of achievement is a bond we share.

 

Quotables:

"Our challenge is finding quality people that are comfortable with this kind of work and can safely perform the tasks."

"With upcoming retirements and continued growth, we are always looking for more potential candidates to fill these roles."

"What really gives PLTs pride is getting the lights back on safely."


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