Apprenticeship Featured Industry News

Bumper apprenticeships for electricity industry

The UK’s largest distribution network operator plans to recruit a bumper intake of 50 apprentices in 2023 to support the country’s transition to Net Zero.

Apprentices who join the company will be trained in traditional skills that maintain, repair and build electricity networks which help deliver power to 8.4 million homes and businesses across the East of England, London and the South East to ensure safe and reliable power supplies. Their work will also help communities use local electricity networks to run low carbon technologies including electric vehicles and heat pumps.

UK Power Networks is currently training 32 new craft apprentices in Level 3 Apprenticeship Standards and 21 new higher apprentices (engineers) in Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship Standards. In the last 10 years, 333 apprentices have been trained by the electricity firm.

Charlie Aston, engineering trainee manager at UK Power Networks, said: “We are excited to recruit the new intake of 50 apprentices. The success of our previous cohorts really demonstrates the business benefits of providing apprenticeships and I’m sure our next group will bring skills, enthusiasm and bags of potential to become fantastic assets for our business as we keep the power flowing for customers and play our part in helping to widen the age profile of our industry to build for the future.”

The two-year programme gives apprentices the opportunity to become a qualified and competent craftsperson in one of three trades: cable jointer, overhead linesperson and electrical fitter. The practical skills are taught at the company’s training centres in Suffolk and Kent, coupled with on-the-job training with experienced field staff, putting new skills into practice under supervision.

Caden Gardiner, a foundation apprentice who already works at UK Power Networks, said: “I was looking online for apprenticeships and discovered the UK Power Networks website. I read about people who have worked for the company previously and it interested me. Apprenticeships are a good investment for the company as they train their employees and invest in their future. You also get on-the-job training which you don’t always get at university.”

UK Power Networks is ranked number one in Europe in the global Smart Grid Index and was also named first in London earlier this year for Best Big Companies to Work For. The company is also rated as a ‘Platinum’ level Investor in People.

The company is welcoming 14 new craft apprentices this month (September) as part of its 2022 intake and applications for the next 50 will open soon.