Power your future - spotlight on Michael Mandica

Michael Mandica - former SSEN apprentice and now a transmission fitter for the organisation

When did you start your career with SSEN?
I started my career with the SSE Group in 2014. I was taken on as part of an employability scheme as a trainee linesman on a 9 month contract in which SSE and Balfour Beatty had agreed to take on 24 trainees. I decided to stay with SSEN after this contract to complete an apprenticeship and I’m now a transmission fitter for the organisation.

What attracted you to the organisation?
I was attracted by the opportunity to progress through many various fields within energy networks and to obtain a career for life.

What did your apprenticeship involve?
My apprenticeship predominately involved a lot of on-site training, but, we were also sent on a lot of national training courses in Manchester, Aberdeen and Nottingham for example. These really helped me develop my knowledge. Finally, the apprenticeship involved the completion of my portfolio, this is gained through a mixture of college course work and on-site evidence. Through college you will gain your City & Guilds certification as well.

What did you enjoy the most about your apprenticeship?
Most of all I have met some amazing people, I have learned a lot not only about the work I do but about myself and I have enjoyed my work. My favourite project to work on has probably been storm work where everyone works together, in challenging circumstances either long days or difficult environments, to get the job done.

Did you encounter any challenges along the way?
Of course I’ve encountered challenges, I would be lying if I said otherwise, but through my lecturers or through the team I work in, I have always had help in some way. I mean I didn’t have the greatest electrical background when I started, but, I have worked hard and been thought well of to get here and hopefully long may that continue.

What do you like most about the energy industry?
It’s a concrete investment of your time and effort, when I say that I mean, if you work hard and you show/have a serious interest in what you’re learning, it will provide a fantastic future for you, in locations you wouldn’t have expected and in fields you wouldn’t have pictured yourself doing.

What is next for you in your career with SSEN? Where do you see yourself in the future?
Personally I’m planning on progressing through my authorisations, gaining as much experience as I can so I can hopefully look to switching and Senior Authorised Person (SAP) work on the network in the next couple years.

If you could give someone considering an apprenticeship in the energy industry some advice, what would it be?
Work hard whatever your knowledge or experience, show an interest and have fun with it! Most of all an apprenticeship is a great experience to learn and earn while making some memories that will hopefully last a lifetime!

SSEN is part of the SSE Group and since 2007 more than 1,100 apprentices and trainee engineers have been hired by SSE - a total training investment of £88m or £80,000 per recruit. SSE offers apprenticeship programmes lasting three to four years in nine different areas. SSE trainees help maintain over 200,000 km of SSE's power lines across its distribution and transmission networks and its power stations, wind farms and hydro projects as well as carrying out commercial or domestic work. It puts trainees through foundation degrees as well as giving them work experience across the business. Graduates then join a two-year rotational programme to develop their skills and experience.

SSEN is currently recruiting for its 2018 Apprenticeship and Trainee Engineer Programmes. For more information, or to submit an application before the closing date on Sunday 18 March, please visit ssen.co.uk/careers.

About the author

Van on rural road

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

We're responsible for maintaining the electricity networks supplying over 3.7 million homes and businesses across central southern England and north of the Central Belt of Scotland. We own one electricity transmission network and two electricity distribution networks, comprising 106,000 substations and 130,000 km of overhead lines and underground cables across one third of the UK. Our first priority is to provide a safe and reliable supply of electricity to the communities we serve in Scotland and England.

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