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Magnificent seven climb ladder of opportunity

In the run up to the tenth National Apprenticeship Week (March 6-10), seven ambitious trainees are embarking on careers with the UK’s biggest power distribution company.

From Press releases - 21 February 2017 12:00 AM

group pic l-r Robin Carter - Brett Beau Clark Derran Hinds Tim Gilbert Mustafa Amir Stephen Barnell and Sam Newman..jpg

UK Power Networks, which keeps the lights on across the East of England, South East and London, ran a very competitive selection process after about 100 people from varied walks of life, applied for seven Power Networks Craftsperson apprenticeships late last year. The company has already trained more than 250 apprentices in the past five years to help fill the industry’s skills gap and this group will be trained as cable jointers, to help ensure smart meters are smoothly installed by electricity suppliers, in homes and businesses in future.

The apprentices will be working in the Purfleet, Enfield and Borehamwood areas and include Robin Carter-Brett, Tim Gilbert, Derren Hinds, Sam Newman, Mustafa Amir, Stephen Barnell, and Beau Clark.

Former Army tank driver Robin said: “I wanted something new, to learn a new trade. You are always going to need electricity; it is the source of so much of what we do. I wanted to get a wider understanding of it. Keeping it running for everyone, now that’s an achievement.”

Steven Read, trainees programmes manager at UK Power Networks said: “Ensuring that we have skilled crafts people working on our distribution network is key to ensure that our customers’ electricity supply is maintained. The recruitment and training of apprentices enable us to grow our skills base which is important in our industry.

“Our chosen candidates should be proud of their success. It was a highly competitive process and we were looking for a very specific type of person who will have the dedication and ability needed for these crucial roles.”

The apprentices will follow a Trailblazer Apprenticeship framework, which includes a qualification in electrical power engineering. After 18 months they will become smart meter specialists working to resolve any technical issues associated with the power supply into peoples’ properties.
In 2016 UK Power Networks’ first group of smart meter trainees became the first apprentices in the country to complete the new Trailblazer apprenticeship and received their certificates at the House of Commons.

For a chance to follow in their footsteps see the careers pages at

Factfile (source

After finishing, the majority of apprentices (90%) stay in employment (including 2% self-employed), with seven in ten (71%) staying with the same employer

Apprenticeship participation increased to 899,400 in the 2015/16 academic year, up 3.2 per cent on 2014/15 and the highest number on record

Over 200 Trailblazers involving more than 1400 employers and more than 160 new standards are in development

Apprenticeships are available in 1,500 job roles, covering more than 170 industries

A quarter of former apprentices had been promoted (23%) within 12 months of finishing

83% of apprentices said their career prospects had improved