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Northern Gas Networks, the gas distributer for the North of England, Northern Cumbria and much of Yorkshire, launched its 2017 NGN Apprenticeship Programme this week.

The launch coincides with National Apprenticeship Week, which runs from March 6 – 10. The week aims to bring together employers and apprentices to celebrate the success of apprenticeships over the last decade, and encourage more people to choose apprenticeships as a fast-track to a great career.

NGN Corporate North-East-4074

Apprentices will be supported by a mentor throughout their programme

The utilities industry now more than ever relies on a high level of technical expertise, and NGN continually plans ahead to ensure the right people with the right skills are in place across the business.

Attracting new talent to replace colleagues taking well-earned retirement is essential in futureproofing the gas network for years to come, with more than 50% of NGN’s workforce now aged 40 or under.

In 2017, NGN will recruit operational apprentices in Tees, Cumbria, Pennines, Bradford, North Tyne, Wear, North Riding, East Riding, and Leeds.

The Gas Engineer programme spans three years, beginning with basic gas engineering, leading to service and mains laying techniques, before advancing to dealing with emergency gas escapes and connections works.

Corporate apprenticeships last two years and are specifically tailored for the successful candidate. Apprenticeships for 2017 will see roles filled in information systems, communications, quantity surveying, innovation, HR and stakeholder relations at the Leeds and Sunderland offices.

Each apprentice will be assigned a mentor to support them throughout the programme, and driving lessons and associated tests will help apprentices gain their licence.

Alex Willans, Learning and Development Specialist at NGN said: “Joining our Apprenticeship Programme is as much about attitude, passion and personality as it about academic success and vocational skills.

“Ideally we’re looking for a minimum of four GCSEs at Grade C or above, or the equivalent of Maths, English, a Science and ideally a technology subject, but we’ll aim to remove barriers for young apprentices.

“Looking for new talent allows the gas industry to continue to thrive; we are able to pass on a wealth of history and experience and look forward to finding potential leaders of the future.”

Lewis Jones, aged 28, joined NGN in 2011 as a First Call Operative apprentice. He is now a site manager in Newcastle.

Here’s his story…

“When I started with NGN I instantly felt like I was part of a family and that I had the support of all the colleagues around me. Around 1300 people applied to my intake and only 16 of us were taken on!

“Our training was based in Newcastle and consisted of a week every month in college for just over two years. The rest of the time we were on the district getting stuck in to what we had learned at college and getting a better understanding of the gas network. 

“This enabled us to interact with customers, evacuating where necessary, making sure that it is safe for everyone involved and dare I say it – we are saving lives… not all heroes wear capes…

“It was the best decision I have made in my career. I have never looked back since starting at NGN. I have been presented with opportunity to progress and I am now managing the area that I first started in.”

Applications for NGN’s Apprenticeship Programme can be submitted between 1st March and 30th April 2017.

Interviews and assessments will take place in May and June, with start dates scheduled for September.

For more information on NGN’s Apprenticeship Programme and the roles available, visit https://careers.northerngasnetworks.co.uk or visit Facebook.com/EvolveNGN or @NGN_Evolve on Twitter

Anyone who smells gas or suspects carbon monoxide poisoning should call the National Gas Emergency Service on 0800 111 999. This line is in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week.