The UK Power sector is celebrating the launch of the Level 3 Power Craftsperson Apprenticeships, which now has over 100 Apprentices on the course. The first of their kind, these Apprenticeships are employer led, resulting in a vastly improved experience for the students because the Apprenticeships are tailored to the employer’s exact needs.
Three employers have started apprentices on Trailblazer courses immediately. SSE has 46 apprentices, UK Power Networks has 30 and National Grid has 27. These new recruits will take on one of three roles, Overhead Lines, Cable Jointing and Substation Fitting, in the power sector, which will set them up for a career with their respective employer.
Banner image: Clea Yates, UK Power Networks apprentice
Clea Yates, a 17-year old UK Power Networks apprentice, said: “I wanted to work in an industry where there would always be job security, and where I would be able to constantly improve my skills and make a real difference.”
Suzanne Beavin, a 24-year old SSE linesperson apprentice, commented: “When I left the army it took a while to decide what I wanted to do, but I knew I wanted to be in a secure industry that would allow me to progress into a career. Once qualified, I’m looking forward to taking on the huge responsibilities that come with a role in the power sector.”
National Grid apprentice, Marc Stannett, added: “I decided to finish my career in the Royal Marines to settle down with my girlfriend and daughter. The main draw of the job was still being able to work outside and as part of a team again. I had seen linesmen working in my local area and thought it would be an interesting job.”
All three of these employers are part of the Energy & Efficiency Industrial Partnership (The Partnership), which aims to strengthen the UK’s energy and utility workforce by creating around 20,000 new learning opportunities including apprenticeships and traineeships. The Partnership will also fund increased training to ensure the industry has the right quantity, quality and diversity of new recruits, and brings local communities closer to their energy and utility providers.
These new learning opportunities have come at the right time with the sector facing up to the reality of the skills gap, which will see the need for 45,000 to 55,000 new employees by 2024 in the power sector alone.
Steve Holliday, Energy and Efficiency Industrial Partnership Chair and National Grid Chief Executive, said:
“We know that employer-led training is key to plugging the skills gap and helping to diversify the energy and utilities workforce. It’s great to see the sector rising to the recruitment challenge, with pioneering programmes already driving The Partnership forward.”
Neil Robertson, Chief Executive of EU Skills, said:
“It’s fantastic to see how employers in the Energy & Efficiency Industrial Partnership have collaborated to develop these bold, ground-breaking Apprenticeship Trailblazers. I am aware that a huge amount of planning, innovation and thought has gone into creating them.
“The Partnership is focused on helping find and train the 20,000 new recruits needed by 2023, and these new trailblazer programmes are essential if we are to successfully recruit people from all walks of life into the industry.
“The quality of these programmes is assured by the industry’s independent assessment service, an innovative new development which enables employers to maintain and monitor the quality of training and development outcomes for all of their workforce at every stage of their career.”
The Partnership is the largest initiative within the Government’s flagship Employer Ownership of Skills pilot, which offers investment to develop sector workforces. The scheme empowers employers by giving them flexibility in how publicly funded training is created and delivered.
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Notes to editors:
- For more information on the new Trailblazer Apprenticeships visit: www.energyandefficiencypartnership.co.uk/apprenticeship-trailblazers
- The Energy & Efficiency Industrial Partnership is the biggest Government skills contract of its type and is supported by Energy & Utility Skills (EU Skills) and the National Skills Academy for Power (the Skills Academy). For more information about the Partnership, please visit http://www.energyandefficiencypartnership.co.uk/
- Energy & Utility Skills is an employer-led membership organisation that helps ensure the gas, power, waste management and water industries have the skills they need – now and in the future. Through a range of products and services we help employers attract new talent, develop their workforces, and assure a high level of competence across their businesses. For more information about EU Skills, please visit euskills.co.uk
- The National Skills Academy for Power sits at the heart of the Power Sector, driving excellence in skills and bringing together employers, skills organisations and stakeholders. For more information about the Skills Academy, please visit power.nsacademy.co.uk