Northern Powergrid, the company responsible for the electricity network that powers everyday life for 8 million people, has launched a new campaign to inspire more people to fulfil their potential and energise their career as an apprentice.
The network operator is looking to recruit 35 Craftsperson Apprentices and 10 Power Engineer Apprentices (Foundation Degree) as part of its drive to create a future-focused workforce that reflects the communities it serves.
The recruitment campaign, which aims to inspire people with diverse interests, backgrounds and skills to see the opportunities as part of Northern Powergrid, is just the beginning of bigger plans by the network operator to boost its workforce and its role as a major employer that will help deliver the region’s low carbon future.
The network operator has already shared proposals to create more than 1,000 new jobs between 2023-28 to support its £3.2 billion investment plans to create a smarter, greener energy system across the North East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire.
Glen Hodges, Northern Powergrid’s Head of Field Services, said: “Energy networks are going through some of the most exciting changes we’ve seen for decades. We have a key role to play in enabling a greener energy future, supporting the UK’s ambitions to meet net zero emissions and enabling our communities to decarbonise by connecting more low carbon technologies.
“We’re building our workforce and creating teams that have the skills to work on today and tomorrow’s energy system. As our network becomes more active and digitalised, there are real opportunities to gain new skills and be part of the team that powers our region, connects communities, and is key to the growth of electric vehicles, heat pumps and a green recovery.
“Through our campaign, we’ll help ensure our recruitment drive is seen by as many people as possible, including those who may not have considered a career in our sector previously. We also want to be a force for good and inspire people’s ambitions, so we’re sharing information in communities which may have higher levels of social deprivation to encourage more people to consider taking their first steps towards fulfilling their potential.”
As a Power Engineer Apprentice (Foundation Degree), Northern Powergrid will fund successful applicants through a three-year programme that helps them achieve a Foundation Degree and equips them with the skills and experience to become a first-class engineer.
People who enjoy working outdoors and as part of a team can also learn the skills needed to safely work on the region’s power network as a Craftsperson Apprentice. The three-year programme will help successful candidates gain professional experience, study for recognised qualifications at college and earn from day one with Northern Powergrid.
Kathryn Tomlin, who features in the campaign and is currently training to work on Northern Powergrid’s underground cable network, said: “I’m in my first year as a Craftsperson Apprentice and I’m really enjoying it. I hope this campaign will encourage more people from a wide range of backgrounds to consider a career in the energy industry. I’m working towards new qualifications and learning and earning as I go. When I look around Northern Powergrid, I see so many people who’ve started their career as apprentices and progressed their careers, so I know this is an important first step for me in mine.”
Andy Bilclough, Northern Powergrid's Director of Field Operations, said: “I have a real passion for vocational training and skills having started my own career with an apprenticeship in the power industry. Our training programmes offer a great opportunity to join an industry that is at the heart of the decarbonisation journey for our region.”
Some 98 per cent of Northern Powergrid’s apprentices remain with the electricity network operator. Anyone interested in finding out more about the apprenticeship opportunities available should visit northernpowergrid.com/careers. Applications to become a Craftsperson Apprentice close on 28 November 2021 and applications to become a Power Engineer Apprentice (Foundation Degree) close on 5 December 2021
In the Summer, Northern Powergrid became the founding member of the Mayor of West Yorkshire’s Green Jobs Taskforce. As part of the Taskforce, Northern Powergrid will work in partnership to create job opportunities that support upskilling, reskilling and multiskilling to create a stronger, diverse talent pool that helps the region prosper. The network operator is also a signatory of the national ‘Energy Networks Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Charter’, and has committed to play its part in helping build a more diverse and inclusive UK energy sector.
As part of its planning for 2023 and beyond, Northern Powergrid launched its draft business plan earlier this year. It sets out the network operator’s proposal to invest £3.2 billion to support the region’s drive towards a net zero future, create 1,000 new job opportunities, improve services and network reliability and take action to support an inclusive and greener energy future. It has been engaging with its customers and other key stakeholders to understand if they support its proposals in readiness for submitting its final business plan for 2023-28 to the energy regulator, Ofgem, on 1 December 2021. Customers and other key stakeholder can openly view the plan and share their feedback by visiting ed2plan.northernpowergrid.com.