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Local man, Craig Skinner is following in his father’s footsteps by embarking on a career at Northern Gas Networks (NGN), the North of England’s gas distributor.

Craig’s father, Alan Skinner, has worked at NGN his entire working life and is due to retire in 2016 after 40 years with the company. Alan was Craig’s inspiration for joining the gas industry however, the Skinners are not the only ones with relatives working at NGN. The gas distribution network employs over thirty family groups across its vast network which maintains 37,000km of pipeline, the equivalent distance from Leeds to Sydney, Australia and back again.

Northern Gas Networks Picture shows 28-year-old Craig Skinner with his father Alan Skinner, aged 55, at the Liversedge Northern Gas Networks base. Both father and son work for the company. Rossparry.co.uk

After originally training as a plumber and earning his gas safety qualifications, Craig joined NGN two years ago as a first call operative but has since been promoted to a regional coach. In his new role, Craig travels across Halifax, Huddersfield and Dewsbury to facilitate the training needs of NGN engineers ensuring that health and safety standards are met and customers receive the very best service.

Explaining about his job role, Elland resident, Craig said: “When I joined NGN I was part of a response team that repaired gas mains in the event of a gas emergency. However through hard work and career progression opportunities at NGN, I was able to earn a promotion and take on more responsibility.

“I now travel to sites across the network and it sounds cliché but it means that every day is different as the work required at each site varies. I can be offering technical advice one day, running a training session the next or even assessing engineers’ driving to ensure they are travelling safely through our communities.”

Now he has progressed through the business, Craig is responsible for ensuring that engineers across the NGN network, including his own dad, are following correct procedures so that repair works are repaired as quickly and safely as possible.

“Joining NGN seemed like a natural choice since my dad has worked with them for so long and I knew so many people already working at the company, even if it does feel odd sometimes giving advice to people I’ve known for years”, added, Craig. “Even though my new role as a regional coach is a huge adjustment from my previous position, I’ve built up a great rapport with the engineers and it’s really rewarding when we’re able to resolve problems on site.”

Susan Wareham, HR Director at NGN said: “We employ over 2,000 people across our network and there are lots of different generations of families working with us at any one time which is great to see. Our vision for NGN is to ‘Be the Best’ and part of that philosophy is valuing our colleagues  and ensuring that they’re supported and given opportunities for progression which shows as people are recommending us as employers to their friends and family members.”

Craig is now working towards a future promotion. “As a regional coach I hope to be able to progress even further and become a site manager at some point in future but right now I’m still really enjoying getting my teeth in to this new role”.

NGN delivers gas to 2.7 million homes and businesses across the North of England and provides the region’s rapid response service for customers who smell gas at home or work.

For more information go to www.northerngasnetworks.co.uk