National Apprenticeship Week: Local bright sparks invited to explore careers in energy and engineering

During National Apprentice Week, Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has been looking to the future and inviting local school pupils to its’ training school in Thatcham to show them how they could have a career in energy and engineering.

Seventy Year 9 to 11 students were welcomed to the training school across three days to see the opportunities that an apprenticeship with SSEN could bring. By splitting the pupils into smaller groups, they were able to participate in various activities through the day, including a tour of the training school, an overview of Electricity and Power Cuts, practical working in a High Voltage training zone and working at height on power lines. And for those who wanted to find out more about careers in the energy industry, a former apprentice was on hand on each of the days to run through a question and answer session following on from the day’s practical exercises.

Kayleigh Bell, SSE’s Apprenticeship Programme Manager explains why these sessions are so important to students: “Teenagers are faced with so many choices when it comes to their future and at SSE we like to make sure that they get the chance to experience engineering and the energy industry first-hand through engagement and practical working; that way they can see if this is the career path for them. 

“The training school at Thatcham has live network and working at height simulation areas, and by breaking the classes into small groups of around ten, we can give pupils our full attention and show them in detail what a day’s work at SSEN might look like. Added to that, they have a past apprentice to quiz about their experience of training and learning while they earn.

“Many of the pupils that have been here this week are either in the process of taking subjects, or thinking about the ones they need to take, to set them on the path to their chosen career, so this kind of event gives them a great opportunity to see if apprenticeships and training courses in the energy industry are part of their future.”

SSEN is part of the SSE Group and since 2007 more than 1,200 apprentices and TSTs have been hired by SSE - a total training investment of £88m or approximately £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. 

If you know of a friend or member of your family who may be interested in a career with SSEN, please refer them to https://www.ssen.co.uk/Careers/Apprenticeships/  to learn more about our apprenticeship and training programmes.

Schools taking part in the events through the week were:    

  • Trinity School, Newbury
  • Kennett School, Thatcham
  • Bishop Challoner Catholic Secondary School, Basingstoke