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Skills boost for Bedford man

A Bedford man has been chosen to train as a professional engineer after ten years working to keep the power flowing to thousands of homes and businesses.

From News & press - 20 May 2021 12:00 AM

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Chris Thorman is a substation fitter with UK Power Networks, the country’s largest electricity distributor, which has chosen him for a two-and–a-half year higher apprenticeship to become a fully qualified engineer.

Chris attended Mark Rutherford School then Bedford College where he studied paint spraying and became an apprentice at a local garage. But he decided it wasn’t right for him and looked for a job that was: “Not at a desk and would keep me busy and active.” 

The 31-year-old said he has really enjoyed his work and was delighted to be chosen for the course that would make him an engineer: “I felt at my age it was the right time. I was comfortable and I like to push myself and continually learn. This is a really good opportunity to progress and grow.”

Chris is being paid while he studies and will be given a broad understanding of the business through a number of work placements.  The course is a mix of classroom-based and practical sessions mostly held at one of the company’s training centres in Suffolk and Kent. 

Steven Read, UK Power Networks’ trainees programmes manager said: “This is a great time to become an engineer in UK Power Networks, with the need to deliver the maintenance and asset upgrades to support new innovative engineering solutions to meet Net Zero.”

UK Power Networks distributes electricity across London, the South East and East of England to 8.3 million customers.The company’s operational teams deliver safe and reliable power supplies, which enable the increasing uptake of electric vehicles and electric heating towards a low carbon future.