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Aldershot apprentice launches career in power

An Aldershot apprentice has started his career in the electricity industry with UK Power Networks.

From Press releases - 10 November 2021 12:00 AM

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Kean Raya, who is 18, from North Town in Aldershot, will be trained in traditional skills that maintain, repair and build electricity networks which help deliver power to 8.3 million homes and businesses across the East of England, London and the South East to ensure safe and reliable power supplies. 

He is among 21 apprentices starting this year who will also play a key role in the UK’s transition to Net Zero, as the company helps to enable low carbon technologies for local communities, including electric transport and heating.

All the trainees will spend three years completing the foundation apprenticeship specialising in one of three traditional crafts as electrical linespeople, fitters or jointers (like Kean) learning how to safely repair, maintain and connect overhead lines, substations or underground cables. 

Kean studied aeronautical engineering at college prior to joining the company and the apprenticeship is a stepping stone to becoming a fully-qualified engineer in the future.

Kean said: “I’ve always wanted to do an apprenticeship – university never really appealed to me. Here I will get the opportunity to learn while I earn and I hope that leads me to being at this company for many years to come.”

Charlie Aston, engineering trainee manager at UK Power Networks, said: “This is a time of great change in the electricity industry and the apprentices will learn to play a key role in maintaining reliable electricity supplies. The future is bright for these new recruits and if they perform well, they can look forward to a secure future and excellent working conditions.

“Once they are fully trained, they will keep power flowing to our communities, provide new connections, upgrade electricity substations and carry out essential electrical maintenance. We refer to them ‘keeping the lights on’, but these trainees will do much more than that as our essential networks power heating, lighting, the internet and Electric Vehicles.”

The first five months of their training is at Bridgwater and Taunton College in Somerset where they will complete a City and Guilds qualification in Electrical Power Engineering. This is the technical qualification required to achieve the Level 3 Power Networks Craftsperson Apprenticeship. The practical element of the apprenticeship will be completed at the company’s dedicated training centres in Suffolk and Kent coupled with on-the-job training with experienced field staff, putting new skills into practice under personal supervision.

Kean will complete the Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award as part of his training, fostering a spirit of teamwork and resilience. Since 2016 all foundation apprentices who join UK Power Networks have taken part in the programme. 

Following the latest Ofsted monitoring visit the company’s training programme continues to be placed in the top 3% of employer training providers. 

UK Power Networks is ranked number one in the global Smart Grid Index, number six in the UK’s Top 25 Best Big Companies to Work For, and a ‘Platinum’ Investor in People.