ScottishPower is celebrating the achievements of its apprenticeship programme by welcoming its latest intake during Scottish/National Apprenticeship Week.
The new apprentices will join the SP Energy Networks arm of the business, learning about the key roles that power homes and businesses across the country.
The programme combines technical skills training, academic study and work-based learning and assessment leading to nationally-recognised qualifications.
A group of 35 gathered at SP Energy Network’s two training centres at Cumbernauld in the Central Belt and Hoylake in Merseyside this week, 23 of whom attended recognition events rewarding them for completing their first six months of the programme and marking their transition from college to practical ‘hands-on’ training.
The remaining group of 12 new apprentices were given the opportunity to meet those already in the programme and gain insight around what lies ahead for them as they take their first steps towards a career in the energy industry.
Muir McDonald, Head of Resourcing at ScottishPower, said: “We firmly believe that hiring apprentices helps businesses to grow their own talent by developing a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce.
“Scottish/National Apprenticeship Week is a great opportunity to celebrate the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy and also to highlight the range of opportunities that are on offer with ScottishPower and our distribution arms SP Energy Networks and SP Manweb.
“Applications for our 2017 Craft and Trainee Programmes are still open and we would encourage those thinking about an apprenticeship to get in touch.”
Kirsty Gallacher, a new craft apprentice with SPEN from Uddingston, said: “I’m looking forward to learning outside and inside a classroom, with lots of hands-on opportunities. The first day is always daunting but it’s been great meeting other apprentices and there’s a real camaraderie with this group. I chose engineering because it’s a very stable career choice – there are so many different options with engineering, so many different directions you can take.”
Fellow apprentice Niall Morris, from Edinburgh, has already completed six months of the programme. He added: “I’ve definitely progressed as a person; I’ve gained confidence, learned new skills and made new friends too. For anyone who may be thinking about an apprenticeship, I’d say go for it. It’s been a brilliant opportunity for me.”
SP Energy Network’s Iain Steele said: “The apprenticeship programmes are essential to the future success of our industry.
“Those who’ve passed through continue to grow from strength to strength, learning vital skills ‘on the job’ and we’re actively seeking applications from those interested in a career in the energy sector.
“I’m delighted to see a number of our apprentices recognised today, demonstrating how we can attract, nurture and retain talented people for the long-term benefit of our business.”
Andy Churchman, SPEN District General Manager, North Wales, added: “Following a rigorous recruitment process we now have a group of high calibre apprentices. They will all receive quality training over the duration of their apprenticeship which will set up their future careers in the company. Apprentices bring a can-do approach to work, flexibility, work really hard whilst engaging in activity throughout the local community. These attitudes and behaviours will support our commitment meeting regulatory goals.”