No wrong path for West Highland pupils as SSEN attends local careers event

Cameron, Liam and William from Lochaber High School with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) on

Pupils from the West Highlands enjoyed an electrifying insight into careers in the energy industry as teams from Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) attended the Lochaber High School Careers Fair.

The event, organised by Developing the Young Workforce West Highland, Skills Development Scotland and Lochaber High School, aimed to provide an insight into a range of careers and opportunities available to those attending, delivering a message to young people that there are many ways to develop a successful career and that there is no wrong path to achieving their dreams.

Over 300 pupils from Lochaber High School, Kilchuimen Academy, Mallaig High School and West Highland College attended the event, with SSEN’s teams providing detail on potential opportunities within SSEN and an insight into a career in the energy industry.

Thomas Spence, Project Engineer who joined SSEN through its trainee engineer programme, said:

“I believe in supporting events like this as it is vital that school pupils understand the opportunities that are available to them. If it hadn’t been for a work experience opportunity when I was in fourth year at Oban High School I may not have considered a career in the electricity industry.

“By attending careers events it gives me the opportunity to engage with the future younger workforce and demonstrate what they could achieve by joining our engineering or apprenticeship schemes. There is no wrong career path and pupils should be encouraged to look at all opportunities and not just take the route of university or college-based courses. As I am closer to their ages I understand the pressures and constraints that school leavers are under and can give them some advice on some of the great opportunities available to them.”

Liam Beagent, Principal Teacher of Guidance at Lochaber High School, added:

“The career event was very successful and provided over 300 S4-6 pupils with the opportunity to talk to over 40 businesses and organisations under one roof. There was a fantastic variety of employment, apprenticeship, graduate and scholarship opportunities and I’d like to thank SSEN for their attendance. The pupil feedback on the event has been extremely positive.”

SSEN gave local pupils the opportunity to try on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) used to work on SSEN’s network and also provided an overview of new technology known as TOUCAN – Thermal imaging Of Underground Cable Networks – an innovation which helps its engineers ‘see’ through tarmac and concrete to locate the source of underground cable faults on its network.

Jim Sandeman From SSEN Providing An Overview Of Innovative Toucan Technology

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.

For more information on careers with SSEN, or to register your interest in its apprenticeship, trainee engineer and graduate opportunities, please visit please visit

Thomas Spence And Kelly Scott From SSEN Talking To A Pupil About Engineering

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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