Graduates from Power Networks Craftsperson Apprenticeship Join Sector
Fourteen Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) apprentices became the first in the company to graduate after successful completion of the employer’s Power Networks Craftsperson Apprenticeship.
A ceremony took place at SSE’s Reading headquarters recently to mark the graduates’ progression to permanent linesperson or cable jointing roles. The end-point assessment was carried out by the Energy & Utilities Independent Assessment Service (EUIAS).
SSEN’s parent company, SSE, is one of the key leaders in the development of the Apprenticeship Standard and has worked closely with Energy & Utility Skills and other utility employers to develop an excellent programme of learning. Training over the three-year duration was split into three categories, Theoretical, Technical and Workplace-based competencies, with the latter a vital component to ensure that all of the classroom knowledge gained was followed up with a good grounding in the field.
Bev Keogh, SSEN’s Director of Business Assurance, said: “My team has worked closely with SSE’s Learning and Development team to ensure successful delivery of the Apprenticeship Standard. This event is not only a great one for all the apprentices who are embarking on a new career with SSEN, it also marks the culmination of a lot of hard work behind the scenes to ensure that we have been able to offer highest level of training at all times.
“With 50% of this the power industry workforce due to leave or retire by 2023, it is vital that we continue to attract new colleagues, and so I am delighted to welcome these 14 new graduates into the SSEN family and wish them all the best for a long and successful career.”
Suzanne Beavin, one of SSEN’s apprentices who graduated with a distinction, said: “I’ve really enjoyed working with my colleagues and have learned so much over the past three years, not just on the technical “hands on” side of things, I also found the classroom sessions really interesting too. The apprenticeship has just been the start, I’m looking forward now to a long and interesting career within the industry.”
Apprentices can only graduate once they have completed an end-point assessment that has been completed by an independent organisation that is on the Education and Skills Funding Agency Register of End-point Assessment Organisations, once the employer is satisfied that each apprentice has met the criteria. End-point assessments demonstrate that each apprentice is work-ready, safe, skilled and competent. SSEN’s apprentices’ end-point assessment was completed by the Energy & Utilities Independent Assessment Service (EUIAS).
Dr Jacqueline Hall, Associate Director of the Energy & Utilities Independent Assessment Service, said: “We are delighted to have been selected by SSEN to complete end-point assessments for this cohort of achievers on the Power Network Craftsperson apprenticeship.
“It was great to be present and see SSEN’s first apprentices graduate and we commend them all for their dedication to learning. We applaud SSEN for its investment in and commitment to delivering high quality apprenticeships, which play a vital role in ensuring the future of the sector’s workforce.”
The National Skills Academy for Power (NSAP) predicts that 18,700 appointments are required by the power industry over the next six and a half years. Over half of these will need to be recruited through apprenticeships and other talent sources.
Nick Ellins, Chief Executive of the Energy & Utility Skills Group, which the EUIAS and NSAP are a part of, added: “These statistics and the findings from the Workforce Renewal and Skills Strategy demonstrate that the provision of rigorous end-point assessment has an important role to play in supporting the skills agenda to ensure workforce resilience in the energy and utilities sector. Apprenticeships are helping many through social mobility onto the first rung of a career ladder towards other roles that are and will become available in the sector.”
“SSE is a committed partner of the Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership,” said its Chair, Basil Scarsella. “The whole sector has been at the forefront of participating in, and implementing, the new apprenticeship approach in England. I congratulate the apprentices on their achievement and the hard work to reach this point. I wish them a successful career in what is an exciting, innovative and diverse sector.”
Peter Bingham, Chief Engineer at Ofgem, commented: “This is another great story around the development of the technical skills necessary for the future of our industry. Well done to all involved.”
For more on SSE’s work with apprentices, visit sse.com/careers/apprentices
Photo caption. Some of SSEN’s 14 new graduates are pictured above, flanked by SSE’s Tim Cutting and EUIAS’s Jacqueline Hall (1st and 2nd left), with SSE’s Paul Forster and EUIAS’ Murdo Allan (1st and 2nd right).