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21/05/12: Switched on to apprentices

Electricity North West, one of the region’s major employers, is searching for the North West’s engineers of the future launching this year’s apprenticeship scheme.

The electricity distribution business is looking for 20 apprentices across the North West to join the company, including trainees based in Carlisle, Kendal, Blackburn, Preston and Manchester.

Successful completion of the training will lead to jobs as overhead linespeople, jointers, telecoms technicians or fitters working to maintain and repair the electricity network.

Launching the 2012 scheme, Electricity North West HR director, Paul Taylor, said: “It’s an exciting time to be an apprentice with Electricity North West and we’re on the lookout for talented people in the region.

“Our apprenticeship scheme offers a combination of formal and on-the-job training resulting in a professionally recognised qualification. We’re really keen to get new apprentices and graduates involved in working on our network in what is often a very challenging and fulfilling role.”

The training is for up to four years, with Electricity North West funding the qualifications and training. The scheme will also include aspects of health and safety, fire precautions, first aid, and customer service.

Now in its fifth year, the apprenticeship scheme is aimed at people looking to begin or develop a career in the electricity industry.

Successful candidate from Electricity North West’s 2011 scheme, Ben Ashurst, who is currently an apprentice jointer in Blackburn, said: “The apprenticeship is excellent. It provides the opportunity to get all the relevant training to succeed in the company. The company is very supportive with highly skilled staff and offers the chance to move up the career ladder if you successfully finish the apprenticeship.”

Matthew Shaw, an apprentice linesman in Kendal agrees. He said: “I’m enjoying my apprenticeship because the work is so varied, which means I’m always learning. The staff are very experienced and are happy to pass on their skills so that we can become the future of Electricity North West.”

To be considered for one of the roles, applicants must have 5 GSCES at a minimum of grade C (or equivalent), two of which must be in Maths and English Language, plus one from a technical subject area. Other qualities required are self-motivation, organisation, a practical approach to problem solving and excellent communication skills.

The deadline for applications is 25 May.

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