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Harlow MP meets power company apprentices keeping the lights on

Harlow MP Robert Halfon has met the next generation of power workers charged with keeping the lights on for thousands of people in his constituency.

From Press releases - 26 April 2019 12:00 AM

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Mr Halfon met a trio of apprentices from UK Power Networks at the company’s office in Harlow West today [Friday 26 April] and learned how they are training for field roles maintaining supplies to local homes and businesses.

The MP who chairs the government’s select committee on education, met Andrew Pace, director of HR, to learn about the employment opportunities apprenticeships offered by UK Power Networks.

The three apprentices who outlined and demonstrated their roles to Mr Halfon were Henry Faber, Samuel Smith and Jamie Alden, who live and work in Harlow.

UK Power Networks is currently training 93 apprentices across the East of England, the South East and London studying how to safely repair, maintain and connect overhead power lines (linespeople), underground cables (jointers), or electricity substations (fitters).

Robert Halfon said: “It was great to hear from apprentices about how much they are engaging with and enjoying an apprenticeship scheme designed to deliver a workforce for the future.

“Skills and apprenticeships are something I have always been passionate about because they offer a ladder of opportunity to jobs, security and prosperity.”'

Andrew Pace, director of HR at UK Power Networks, who hosted the visit, said: “We welcomed this opportunity to share with our local MP the work we are doing with apprentices for them to learn roles safely operating the electricity network.

“We need the dedication of our apprentices to keep delivering network reliability and great customer service. They are our next generation of experts who will keep the lights on daily for the communities they live and work in.”

Jamie Alden, one of the apprentices, said: “This is a great opportunity to earn while I learn and I’m really enjoying picking up skills and knowledge that will hopefully set me up for a long career in the industry.”

As well as 11 recruits on its Engineering Development Programme (EDP), UK Power Networks also has 41 graduates going through a three year programme. Retention rate of graduates five years following the programme is 83%, while the seven year retention rate is 75%. The apprentice completion rate is 96% and of those who complete 100% accept jobs within the company.

UK Power Networks is currently number nine in the Sunday Times list of Top 25 Best Big Companies to Work For, as voted for by its employees, and was the first electricity network to gain the National Equality Standard. Safety is top priority and the company works hard to maintain a sector-leading safety performance.