Downham teenager Cameron Murray has successfully been chosen from hundreds of applicants to become one of 30 candidates selected to join UK Power Networks’ on-the-job training scheme.
Cameron, 17, from Milton Way, was selected from 820 applications to work for Britain’s largest electricity network operator, which distributes power across the East of England, South East and London.
Over the next three years he will prepare to join the skilled teams who keep power flowing to more than a quarter of Britain’s population 24 hours a day. The apprentices specialise in climbing electricity poles, fixing and connecting power cables or kitting out electricity substations.
Cameron, who will be based at the company’s depot in Lynn while he trains to become an overhead linesman, said: “I am really interested in the electrical side of engineering and hope this apprenticeship will enable me to progress in UK Power Networks. As an overhead linesman I will be training to work at different heights to install and repair overhead lines and maintain the power distribution network.”
Patrick Clarke, director of network operations at UK Power Networks, who began his career as an apprentice, said: “There couldn’t be a more exciting time to join the electricity industry, with new technology bringing faster changes in the next ten years than ever before. We look for people with a great attitude, keen to serve their communities and critically safety-conscious, which is the baseline for the electricity industry.
“The average age profile of our workforce is now 50 plus so this is an excellent time for young people with new ideas to make their mark. There is a significant shortage of people with the technical skills we need and we are one of the few long-term industries where if you perform well, your future is secure. If you’ve got talent and you are prepared to work hard, you could have a really promising future with us.”
The apprenticeship scheme helps address a shortage in the number of electrical craftsmen joining the industry to train as linesmen, jointers and fitters. Hundreds of apprentices have been through the company’s structured programme of training and now look after the power network in their communities.
The scheme includes formal training at UK Power Networks’ training centres in Kent and Suffolk and on-the-job experience putting their skills into practice. At the end of their programme the apprentices will qualify with a Qualification and Credit Framework (QCF) Diploma in Electrical Power Engineering.
UK Power Networks offers foundation apprenticeships for school leavers, which are three years, plus advanced apprenticeships, which are two years. To find out more about becoming an apprentice visit: http://www.ukpowernetworkscareers.co.uk/