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Palace gongs for electricity apprenticesPalace gongs for electricity apprentices

Eleven electricity apprentices who help keep the local lights on were congratulated on achieving Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards by HRH The Earl of Wessex.

From Press releases - 4 December 2019 12:00 AM

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The dedicated apprentices swapped their usual surroundings of power substations, electricity poles and cable trenches for St James’s Palace.

UK Power Networks apprentices complete a Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme during their training as it develops the teamwork, resilience and energy needed in their working life.

The group has also received apprenticeship certificates from Andrew Pace, UK Power Networks’ director of HR. Andrew said: “Congratulations to our apprentices on successfully completing their electricity apprenticeships and achieving their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards.

“The DofE develops the positive characteristics we look for in our employees such as teamwork, responsibility and resilience. That’s why we joined forces with the charity three years ago, to give our young apprentices the best start to their careers with us.”

Training expeditions at Dartmoor and Exmoor were followed by the final expedition hiking 50-kilometres through Snowdonia for five days.

Ben Veness, who is 22, now a fully qualified electrical fitter, installing, maintaining and repairing substation equipment, said:  “We completed a five day expedition and on the first day we went up Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales, in the worst weather. There was only one expedition on the mountain and that was ours. You couldn’t see the person in front of you.

“We were soaked through and carrying heavy bags. The first day was hard, given such poor weather, but it was fun being together. We earned our visit to the Palace to receive our certificates and I feel very pleased to go to a Royal Palace as a guest.”

Caroline Glen, Director of Fundraising at The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, adds: “In an ever-changing world, supporting young people to enhance their skills is important for a prosperous future. The Gold Award is the highest level of DofE programme that can be completed and UK Power Networks’ apprentices should be proud of their achievement. During their journey, they have shown strong commitment and energy in exploring new skills, challenges and opportunities to enhance their knowledge and abilities.”

To achieve their Gold DofE the group walked 792 miles for their expedition training, volunteered 360 hours, spent over 1,000 hours on physical activities, 13,500 hours learning new skills and more than 1,000 hours were spent on residential activities.