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Benfleet apprentice qualifies with distinction

An electricity apprentice from Benfleet is the first trainee in the country to qualify with a distinction in the new employer-designed Trailblazer Apprenticeship ‘Power Networks Craftsperson’.

From Press releases - 16 February 2017 12:00 AM

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David Woolley, who is 23, gained top marks as a cable jointer apprentice, keeping the lights on for homes and businesses in Essex.

He connects and repairs underground electricity cables for his employer, UK Power Networks, which distributes electricity across more than a quarter of Britain.

Based at a depot in Southend, David achieved a distinction in the Power Networks Craftsperson Standard, but is keeping his feet firmly on the ground and is modest about his results.

He said: “It was a huge relief when my manager told me I had got a distinction, but the learning doesn’t stop here. I hope to go for my high voltage jointing certificate and gain more competencies that go with that. Further down the line I would like to progress into an engineer’s role.

“I’m pleased, because this is my livelihood, but at the end of the day it’s the skills that matter more than a piece of paper. In a role like this you need to successfully apply your skills. For example, I work to fix power cuts, including out of hours work on standby. It’s a relief when we manage to find a fault and start repairs, so we can get customers back on supply.”

David qualified as an electrician before joining UK Power Networks in November 2014, which provided a good foundation for his role as a cable jointer. He was part of UK Power Networks first group of apprentices to complete one of the new Trailblazer apprenticeships, following the Government’s reform of apprenticeships to meet the needs of industry.

Steven Read, trainees programmes manager at UK Power Networks, said: “This is a great achievement because David is not only among the first group of apprentices to complete the new Trailblazer Apprenticeship Standards, he is also first to achieve a distinction. The sector continues to develop and recruit apprentices and it is key that we train future staff to the highest standards. The new employer-led Trailblazer Apprenticeship Standards ensure that this can be achieved.”