SSEN energises new careers for apprentices and trainees

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is powering up the careers of 34 new apprentices and trainee engineers along with 11 Adult Trainees, ensuring the ongoing coronavirus pandemic doesn’t derail the job prospects of its next generation of colleagues helping to shape a sustainable energy future. 

The new recruits and Adult Trainees (existing SSEN staff members who are upskilling via the Apprenticeship route) will join the company's roster of over 4,000 employees who are responsible for the networks which distribute electricity to over 3.8 million homes and businesses across north Scotland and central southern England. 

SSEN’s apprentice and trainee programmes provide high quality, well paid training opportunities which support local economies and communities, and positions include apprentice jointers, linespersons and electrical fitters. 

One new recruit is 19-year old Richard Griffiths from Slough, who was working in the leisure industry before the pandemic hit. Richard will begin work as an apprentice linesman, training and working with experienced staff across SSEN’s Thames Valley region, which includes locations such as West London, Slough, Reading and Marlow.

Richard said: 

“I had been looking for apprenticeships and I remember finding the role as an apprentice linesman; I had my heart set on it the moment I saw it on the SSEN website as it ticked all my boxes. Now I’m in the company, I am not worried about the pandemic affecting my career prospects, as they continued to employ even during the height of the pandemic. 

In Perth, 21-year old James Mair is currently in his third year of training, learning the skills of a cable-jointer on the underground network in SSEN’s South Caledonia region, which takes in towns and cities such as Perth, Kinross, Dundee and Pitlochry. 

James used to work in a pub and is looking forward to the opportunities which lie ahead: 

“I wanted to work outdoors instead of being in an office and so working in different places every day will keep it interesting. Also, it’s a job for the future as everybody is going to need electricity, and here you get to see the changes within the infrastructure that will help us in the future, and my training will also provide me with the chance to move up in the company.”

In previous years, recruits would have attended a week-long induction event before starting at SSEN’s in-house training schools, but coronavirus restrictions mean they’re currently being welcomed via a mixture of virtual and limited face-to-face meetings.  

The trainees and apprentices will also be joining a fully qualified colleague in a work support bubble, which allows them to keep up the all-important on-the-job training and mentoring, while still ensuring that all safety and coronavirus hygiene measures are adhered to.

SSEN’s new recruits are part of parent company SSE’s fresh intake of apprentices and trainees, and John Stewart, SSEN’s Director of HR, said: 

“Just as efforts have continued to battle the coronavirus pandemic so too have they stepped up in the fight against climate change, so whilst it will have been a very different induction to the business for our latest apprentices and trainee engineers, they couldn’t be joining the industry at a more vital time. 

“Our business is investing £4m a day in low-carbon energy and electricity infrastructure over the next five years and these recruits are joining an industry at a critical moment in the low carbon transition, setting their careers up to play a pivotal role in delivering a net zero future.”  

The training programme not only equips them with the technical skills needed but addresses wider issues including financial education, cyber security, mental health and support for parents and guardians of young apprentices and trainee engineers.  

To find out more about how you can join SSEN as an apprentice or trainee, please go to https://www.sse.com/careers/

The above photo shows Richard Griffiths, our apprentice in Slough with the photo on the front page showing James Mair in Perth.

About the author

Van on rural road

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

We're responsible for maintaining the electricity networks supplying over 3.8 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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