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Duo show staying power with 80 years’ service

Expert power workers in Hertfordshire who have clocked up 80 years in the industry between them have had their long service recognised by employer UK Power Networks.

From Press releases - 2 August 2017 12:00 AM

Dave Bloomfield and Bina Sims.jpg

The company, which delivers electricity to eight million customers across East Anglia, London and the South East, rewards staff who have given 40 years of continuous service at a special 40+ Club.

Dave Bloomfield, from Hemel Hempstead, joined the industry at the age of 19 in 1977 dealing with customers who had queries about the electricity meters.

He has worked in various roles during his 40 years, including within the meter reading and debt collecting teams before moving into the roadworks team where he now is the street works performance manager for Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and the London boroughs of Barnet, Brent, Ealing, Haringey, Harrow and Hillingdon.

Dave said: “Initially joined the industry as a stop-gap while I re-sat my A levels but I ended up staying.

“Lots of things have changed in the last 40 years – I guess the biggest thig was when it was privatised – but I have always worked in a team and I have really enjoyed doing so.

“I’ve done many roles throughout my career here but I certainly enjoy what I am currently doing, which involves interaction with not only colleagues within UK Power Networks but contractors, councils and other utility firms.”

Bina Sims, from Bishops Stortford, joined the industry aged 18 as a sales trainee in a showroom where customers came in to sign on supply, disconnection, query their bills or buy electrical goods. She rapidly moved up the ranks to become manager before moving to work at the company’s head office in London.

She agreed with Dave that the biggest change has been privatisation and how many times the company changed owners since privatization.

The senior IT project manager said: “I have had different roles in the company, each had their different challenges and there are great opportunities for development and training too.

“It really does not feel like I have worked here for 40 years. It is a good company to work for that cares about people, offers good pensions, cares about the wellbeing of employees as well as health and safety, which to be honest are the main reasons I have stayed here so long.”

Basil Scarsella, chief executive at UK Power Networks, said: “Every year we recognise employees that have been with our business for 40 years or more. It’s part of being an employer of choice and doing the right thing by employees who have served us for a long time.

“It’s one of the evenings I particularly look forward to because I catch up with individuals that have been with us a long time.”

There are currently over 400 employees in the 40+ Club at UK Power Networks, a company named as a top 25 Best Big Companies to Work in 2015 and 2016 partly due to its industry-leading staff development and engagement initiatives.

UK Power Networks teamed up with 28 energy and utility companies through the Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership to launch the new Workforce Renewal and Skills Strategy earlier this year, to highlight job opportunities, training and skills through to 2020 in an industry that provides essential power, gas, water and waste management services to 65 million people.

UK Power Networks has also joined Energy and Utility Skills, the voice on workforce issues across the utility sector, and helped create a careers website called Talent Source Network.