07 Sep 2023

Human interest North West

Apprentices kick-start careers with region’s power network operator

Operations North Manager Jonathan Eggleston, centre, with the 2023 intake

Thirty-seven apprentices from Carlisle to south Manchester have embarked on a three-year journey with the North West’s power network operator.

The new recruits will train to be part of the team that manages the safe delivery of electricity across the region through the 44,000km of underground cables and overhead lines that make up the regional network.

Joining this week, they have started the award-winning scheme in what is a record intake for the business, reaffirming its commitment to creating green jobs and investing in its future.

After carrying out an initial two weeks’ learning at Electricity North West’s state-of-the-art Training Academy, the apprentices will then join one of the organisation’s many depots situated across the region, gaining on-site experience almost daily.

This year’s apprentices were chosen out of hundreds of applications and new roles include operational engineers, design engineers, civil engineers, mechanics and IT engineers.

Rachael Parr, Electricity North West’s people and corporate services director, said: “It’s always an exciting time to see a new cohort of apprentices join the business and embark on their journey.

“Earlier this year, we began a huge £2bn investment for the North West’s power network as demand for electricity continues to increase as people move away from fossil fuels for things like transport and heating to clean electricity. Our apprentices will have a major role to play over the next five years to complete the huge programme of work and beyond.

“We’re committed to investing in our workforce by upskilling and investing and over the next five-years, we’ll be creating 600 green jobs whilst also looking to enhance the diversity of our current workforce.”

Since launching back in 2007, more than 230 apprentices have been trained and developed by Electricity North West.

Later this year, the firm will re-open its window for hiring with more than 35 apprenticeships set to be made available.

Chris Havard, Electricity North West’s apprenticeship programme manager, added: “Our apprenticeship programme is going from strength-to-strength each year and continues to generate huge interest.

“It’s an exciting programme to be a part of and in the last six years, all apprentices that have qualified have been offered a full-time role and accepted.

“It’s a pleasure to welcome our latest intake and I’m looking forward to seeing them grow and develop in their roles over the next three years.”