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18/07/2011: Astley apprentice hired by Electricity North West

A bright spark from Astley has successfully completed an apprenticeship with Electricity North West, securing a permanent job with the company which is responsible for operating and maintaining the electricity distribution network in the region.

Ben Trigger, 20, is one of the first candidates to successfully complete Electricity North West’s apprentice scheme this year. The scheme is part of the company’s ongoing programme of training and employing a new generation of skilled electrical engineers in the region.

Ben’s new role as a low voltage mains jointer will see him work all over the North West from his home turf of Greater Manchester. He has spent the last three years shadowing a number of experienced employees within the company, repairing faults and replacing old cables to ensure the region’s electricity network remains reliable.

Ben is one of a number of young apprentices who Electricity North West hopes will carve long-term careers in the industry as the UK, and the energy sector in particular, faces a shortfall of skilled engineers.

The company has a successful history of these schemes and is a major long-term employer in the region. Two former apprentices, who joined almost half a century ago, have only just retired.

Mark Wardman, training manager at Electricity North West says: “Ben is part of the new generation at Electricity North West and in his new role he will be working with existing systems as well as new innovations and technologies. He was a strong apprentice and we’re sure he will be an asset to the company. He is a great example to those wanting to start a career in the industry.”

Electricity North West connects over 2.4 million homes and businesses in the region to the National Grid. The company aims to increase its intake of apprentices as it invests in renewable energy innovations and delivers a £1.4 billion investment programme in the regional electricity distribution network over the next few years. A new intake of apprentices is due to start at the end of August.

Ben said: “An apprenticeship gives you a good idea of what to expect in your chosen career and the best thing about a job in this industry is the fact that every day is different and there’s always a new challenge keeping you on your toes.

“Few people are aware of the importance and scale of the electricity distribution network in the region, or the level of work and investment required to maintain it. My apprenticeship has equipped me with the knowledge and experience to take on a range of specific network maintenance tasks and I’m looking forward to working alongside Electricity North West’s growing team of engineers and building a long-term career with the company.”

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