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Apprentices strike gold

Apprentices at UK Power Networks are celebrating completing their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Awards.

From News & press - 15 April 2021 12:00 AM

Since 2016 all apprentices who join the utility company have been taking part in the scheme founded by the late Duke of Edinburgh, whose life will be celebrated at a ceremonial royal funeral on Saturday. 

The last cohort were presented with their Gold Awards by HRH the Earl of Wessex. Another 35 apprentices have recently finished their award after completing all five sections which involve several challenges including learning a skill, volunteering and training and completing a four-day, three-night camping expedition.

Nigel Grapes, engineering trainees team leader, paid tribute to the scheme and its founder:: “The Duke of Edinburgh scheme is often a life changing experience and for many it will assist in the personal development of each individual by helping them understand the importance of working as a team and being able to deal with adversity.

“It is also an enabler, which will focus students in understanding the importance of safe working whilst being able to challenge poor behaviours. It’s also FUN. Many of these benefits may not appear in the individual for several years, but will manifest in their individual “makeup” and provide them with memories that will later support their career and life choices.”

The Gold Award recipients are now awaiting an invitation to collect their awards. A delighted Jude Edmunds, 24, from Hastings, who is an apprentice jointer, said although he was dreading the expedition he ended up really enjoying it and “having a good laugh”. He said it taught them teamwork, even though it took many of his colleagues out of their comfort zone. It also taught him to use his initiative and to trust himself as well as to work alongside others. 

Jude spent his volunteering time looking after a friend’s son who has cerebral palsy, in order to give his dad a few hours break.