Best Of South LondonLifestyle

UK Power Networks’ apprentices will keep the lights on

Five apprentices from London have joined the workforce at UK Power Networks, to gain skills that keep power flowing.

Anton Povstyan, from Sutton, Malek Douadi, from Ladbroke Grove, Cairo Hyde, from Honor Oak, Stuart Hayler, from Feltham, and Fortune Okonajiofor, from Abbey Wood, are among 54 recruits joining UK Power Networks’ popular apprenticeship programme this year.

The apprentices will spend two years learning traditional skills to rigorous standards, maintaining a reliable electricity network.

Their work will support power infrastructure which will enable people to use an estimated 4.3 million Electric Vehicles and 650,000 heat pumps by 2030.

Recruits will train to become experts as either electrical linespeople, fitters or jointers and learn how to repair, maintain and connect overhead lines, substations or underground cables.

Practical skills taught in the company’s dedicated training centres in Suffolk and Kent, will be put into practice during on-the-job training where they will live, work and serve their local communities.

Demand for places was high, with nearly 700 applications for 26 roles.

The highly-acclaimed training scheme, accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology, has a very high retention rate of 98 per cent and 25 per cent of recruits achieve distinction.

The apprentices train in Level 3 Apprenticeship Standards.

Aerospace engineering graduate Malek Douadi, 22, from Ladbroke Grove, west London, is training as an electrical fitter in Canning Town.

He said: “There will be a lot of responsibility on my shoulders in this role but if I work hard, everything is possible to achieve working as a team. I want to build my way up, gaining experience and knowledge to become an engineer.

“The country needs time to adapt to the changes that are coming as more electric vehicles connect and I would like to be part of the changes. I feel good about a job like this.”

Former UK Power Networks intern, Cairo Hyde, 19, from Honor Oak, Lewisham, London, is training to be a cable jointer at Camberwell after enjoying his internship.

He said: “I studied electrics at college and this was the career route I wanted to take so I’m excited and can’t wait to get started.

I’ll work on underground cables that connect power to the area. I’m proud of the work I’ll be doing because I’m going to make a difference.

Charlie Aston, engineering trainee manager at UK Power Networks, said: “The next decade is set to be a transformative time for the electricity
sector as Britain progresses towards achieving Net Zero.

We are investing in training local talent to make sure we have the pipeline of essential skills necessary to continue providing a great service to our customers. We want more women to apply, and reap the rewards of these career opportunities.”



Picture: From left, Malek Douadi, Stuart Hayler, Fortune Okonajiofor and Anton Povstyan. Picture: Nigel Bowles

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