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10/02/12: ‘Bright sparks’ wanted to tackle regional skills gap

Electricity North West is tackling an engineering skills shortage head-on with the creation of a new three-year A Level-entry programme to find the engineers of the future.

The initiative – announced during National Apprenticeship Week – will see the company, which manages the region’s power network, taking on a number of new recruits.

Successful applicants will undertake a mix of formal classroom training and a variety of work placements across the different areas of the business. Electricity North West will also fund a course of study for successful applicants to secure a Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Electrical Engineering, which could lead to a permanent role with the company.

Paul Taylor, HR director at Electricity North West, said: “People currently face a tough decision after completing their A-Levels or ONC. Continuing studies at university is an increasingly expensive option with less chance of jumping straight into a career due to the lack of job opportunities.

“There is a national skills shortage in engineering, and we need to address that to keep the lights on for all our customers.

"We are very keen for our employees to reflect the customers we serve so we’d especially like to hear from women and people from black and minority ethnic backgrounds that are currently underrepresented in our workforce.”

Electricity North West currently employs 1,600 people who play a vital role in keeping power going for homes and businesses across the region. 49 apprentices and 11 graduates are currently employed by Electricity North West in a variety of roles – from planning to projects and maintenance.

The closing date for applications is 29th February and the scheme is open to anyone with at least two A Levels at grade A-C, in either maths or physics or an ONC in Electrical Engineering.

For more information on trainee engineering opportunities at Electricity North West, visit:

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