Imagine a world without electricity. Industry, manufacturing and the entire transport infrastructure are totally dependent on power. The things we take for granted, from the light we bring into our homes to the labour-saving devices on which we have all become so dependent and technological advances like the mobile phone and the internet, would fail to function.
The key areas within the electricity industry include generation, transmission and distribution and supply.
Generation of power refers to the operation and maintenance of power station apparatus.
Operators work in gas, oil, coal-fired, nuclear or hydro-electric power stations or wind farms and an increasing range of renewable energy sources. There are over 2,000 generating stations in the UK and employees work directly with the machinery or remotely from a control room. Duties include;
- Diagnosing faults and resolving them
- Maintaining safety procedures and environmental good practice
- Handling materials required for the generation system
- Carrying out routine testing
- Following contingency plans e.g. isolating or shutting down a system
Power transmission and distribution workers install and maintain the network that supplies electricity from power stations to homes, industry and businesses. They conduct repairs in high and low voltage environments. Duties include:
- Carrying out preventative maintenance and switching operations
- Installing and dismantling equipment e.g. transmission and distribution line
- Assembling or removing components
- Adjusting and configuring electrical systems
- Inspecting, testing and diagnosing faults
The supply area of the industry involves the companies who are responsible for metering the supply of electricity and selling electricity to the consumer.
Many of the jobs in the power industry are highly skilled and are in huge demand in a wide range of engineering, science and technology based industries. There is an increasing need for skilled people to work in UK engineering and technology businesses, so that the UK can compete successfully in the world economy.
The National Skills Academy for Power provides training for all learners; from new recruits to school and college leavers, with clear recognised career development paths. For further information visit the National Skills Academy for Power website.