From education to employment

Skills boost for eleven power recruits

UK Power Networks recruits at the training centre.

Eleven new recruits have been selected to help deliver electricity across London, the East and South East.

The UK’s biggest electricity distributor, UK Power Networks, runs a two-and-a-half year Engineering Development Programme (EDP) to enable people who already have an electrical background to become fully qualified engineers.

The 11 will be given a broad understanding of the business through a number of work placements and will be paid during their training, which is a mix of classroom-based and practical sessions, mostly held at the company’s training centres in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk and Sundridge, Kent.

One of those selected is Alan Middleditch, 37, from Sudbury, Suffolk, who said: “It’s an exciting field to work in because of the changes taking place to support the low carbon future. Things we take for granted are changing, such as going from petrol and diesel-fuelled engines to electric cars. The low carbon future is changing the way we distribute electricity. Innovation in the electricity industry is going to be key and I’m excited to be part of it.”

Steve Read, trainees programme manager for UK Power Networks, said: “The course aims to provide participants with everything they need to become an engineer with UK Power Networks, and we have deliberately included an understanding of how the organisation works as a whole.

“Everyone who completed the course previously is still working for us, so it is an established and successful career pathway.”

He added: “We can only deliver the excellent service and reliability we deliver, with the dedication and commitment of our 6,000 staff and we are proud to have over 400 staff with over 40 years’ service.”

Stephen Barrett, director of strategic accounts and head of National Skills Academy for Power (NSAP) at Energy & Utility Skills said: “UK Power Networks’ two-and-a-half year Engineering Development Programme (EDP) enables people who already have an electrical background to become fully qualified engineers. UK Power Networks has successfully run this scheme for some years. The National Skills Academy for Power (NSAP) is delighted to be associated with UK Power Networks in the roll out of this engineering development programme and congratulate them on the continued success of this scheme.

“The programme is a prime example of career progression within the sector and a sound business model other power companies could follow.”

UK Power Networks is a Sunday Times Top 25 Best Big Company to Work For, the first electricity distributor to be awarded the National Equality Standard, and is an Inclusive Top 50 UK Employer.

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