Nathan Hunt, substation craftsperson apprentice, National Grid

Young people are being asked to #LookBeyond the traditional routes into employment, and instead consider the diverse career options now available through apprenticeships.

This National Apprenticeship Week, now in its 13th year, the Government continues to call on employers and teachers to promote apprenticeships as viable career routes for young people, and the diverse benefits this unique type of training can offer.

One of the sectors that offers a range of exciting apprenticeship opportunities and careers is the engineering sector.

There are plenty of misconceptions about jobs in engineering, with only around one third of parents understanding what engineers do.

Through the Engineering: Take A Closer Look campaign, young people aged 11-16, their teachers and parents can learn more about what it takes to forge a career in the field – and the different routes in from graduate to vocational.

Nathan Hunt, 17, is 18 months into an apprenticeship with National Grid, where he is a substation craftsperson apprentice in Bedfordshire.

He was planning on going through A-levels, doing a degree and even a Masters before seeing an advert for National Grid’s apprenticeship programme changed everything.

What is your job and what do you enjoy about it?

I’m a Substation Craftsperson Apprentice, which means I’m responsible for helping to maintain and refurbish the equipment on site, along with monitoring the condition of the equipment so it remains as efficient as possible.

I enjoy my role as you get to see and work on the equipment that keeps the lights on, and I have real responsibility in my post.

Why did you go down the apprenticeship route?

I was planning to do the normal school ‘conveyor belt’ thing – A-levels, a degree, maybe a Masters – before moving into a career. But then, a year before my GCSEs, I saw a week’s taster course with National Grid advertised on our school intranet.

In the nicest way, if the Grid was laying a trap, I fell into it. I thought: ‘this is one of the best opportunities I’ve got’, so I applied for their apprentice programme and got through.

What qualifications did you have beforehand?

GCSEs including Triple Science, Maths, Further Maths, and Design Technology.

Why would you recommend an apprenticeship in engineering?

The great thing about an apprenticeship at National Grid is it really feels like I’m part of the decarbonisation plans for Britain. Part of my team’s work is about the capability of the system and upgrading our assets.

If we make it to Net Zero, as I hope we will, I know I’ll have done my bit. I also think National Grid really cares about their apprentices. The course is one of the best in the country and the pay is higher than other apprenticeship I know of.

Was there anything that surprised you about an apprenticeship?

It’s fair to say the work is more ‘hands on’ that I thought, but it’s the right choice for me. Our team moves around our patch and right now we’re working on Network Rail transformers, doing maintenance and overhauls.

What would you say to others thinking about a career in engineering?

Engineering is such a wide field, there’s a role for nearly everyone! Research some areas that stand out to you - there may be an apprenticeship or sponsored degree available for what you want to do.

What engineering myth would you like to bust?

We don’t know everything. We’re normal people and sometimes we don’t know something or get something wrong - although, saying that, we’re generally pretty good at figuring things out in the end.

You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Peter has published a new article: EDHEC and EURECOM Sign Strategic Alliance yesterday
FE News: The Future of Education News Channel had a status update on Twitter 2 days ago

Women Empowerment: How Far Have We Come in Recent Years?: Here in the UK, the past year has been difficult for ever…
View Original Tweet

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page