CLP Group (its holding company is CLP Holdings Ltd) is an electricity company in Hong Kong with businesses in a number of Asian markets and Australia. Incorporated in 1901 as China Light & Power Company Syndicate, its core business remains electricity generation, transmission, and retailing.
CLP techies are live wires
THE TRAINING programme at CLP Power Hong Kong stresses technical skills to ensure an uninterrupted flow of power in a world that depends heavily on the supply of electricity.
The company's entry in the HKMA training awards - Keeping the Power On Through Live Work Training Programme - stood out for its emphasis on technical skills, while the other five finalists focused on customer services or sales and marketing strengths.
The CLP programme trains technicians to work on low-voltage links at power supply stations.
Chan Wing-on, head of the training school, said that in the past power would be temporarily cut off so that maintenance work could be carried out on site.
'With the right equipment and skills we can work on live low-voltage points. This minimises power outage and inconvenience to customers,' he said.
The training and development programme, introduced 10 years ago, supports cable jointing and termination, cut-offs and meter-related assignments, as well as work on overhead lines.
'The training programme is comprehensive and involves a lot of resources. By joining the HKMA training awards this year, we hope to exchange ideas and experiences in best practice operations with other companies,' Mr Chan said.
He said about 1,000 technicians had been trained to work on live wire facilities to minimise power interruptions.
Besides classroom training, trainees must pass a written test and a practical assessment before they can take part in a live work assessment on site, he said.
Mr Chan said the interactive e-learning platform was designed to make learning enjoyable.
'We have also introduced a personal response system to encourage independent thinking, active participation and discussion,' he said.
All live work technicians must attend refresher courses to update their skills. 'Our system keeps track of the technicians' training records and has a built-in mechanism to remind them when they should be taking refresher courses. It is an ongoing exercise.'
He said safety was a key concern in this kind of work and that the training programme had raised the standard of performance and helped maintain a high level of safety.
'The technicians follow safety guidelines. Despite the complex procedures and strict rules about wearing protective equipment, our audits have detected cases of non-compliance,' he said.
'Over the past five years we have recorded just three such cases out of 400,000 live work operations. That represents a safety index of 99.99 per cent.'
The live work training programme has resulted in improved work efficiency and more reliable services to customers.
'Live work operations benefit about 120,000 customers a year,' Mr Chan said.