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Rainham man to climb ladder of opportunity

In the run up to the tenth National Apprenticeship Week (March 6-10), a Rainham man is embarking on a career with the UK’s biggest power distribution company.

From Press releases - 7 March 2017 12:00 AM

Beau Clark 2.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.

Once trained, 22-year-old Beau Clark will be a cable jointer, helping ensure smart meters are smoothly installed by electricity suppliers, in homes and businesses across Purfleet in future. He will follow an 18-month Trailblazer Apprenticeship framework, which includes a qualification in electrical power engineering.

The former air conditioning engineer said: ““I was really pleased to be offered this role, particularly as it was the first interview I have ever had. My uncle Geoffrey Norman has worked for the company for 25 years and he encouraged me to apply so I knew before I came what a good company it was.”

The former Chafford School (now Harris Academy) pupil said: “Electricity is fundamental to everything we do. It is so important to us so I want to learn everything I can about it.”

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.”

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

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

• 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

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

• 83% of apprentices said their career prospects had improved