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We're supporting National Apprenticeship Week by offering more than 50 craft apprenticeships

As National Apprenticeship Week gets underway, Western Power Distribution (WPD) is on the hunt for 54 craft apprentices across the Midlands, South West and South Wales.

There are three different trade apprenticeships available, including jointers, as seen here.

The three crafts are fitters, who look after switches and transformers in substations; jointers, who work on the underground cable network, and linespeople, who deal with the overhead line network.

As the company that distributes electricity to customers’ homes, WPD’s engineers are key workers and have kept working throughout the coronavirus pandemic. And that applies to the company’s apprentices too – none have been made redundant or furloughed.

Instead, WPD has adjusted its training programme to enable social distancing. This has seen classrooms at its training schools in Tipton and Taunton replaced by Zoom and screens placed between stations in training workshops.

“Our hope is always that our apprentices and trainees will stay with us throughout their working lives,” says Engineering Policy Manager Carl Ketley-Lowe. “Demonstrating right at the beginning that we’re serious about their training is vital. With social distancing halving the number of people we could train in the ‘normal’ way, we had to get creative.”

Keeping the existing network running isn’t the only task WPD faces – the company is also at the heart of building the future as it adjusts its network to cater for the low carbon technologies such as electric vehicles, heat pumps and solar panels that will help meet the country’s net zero carbon emissions targets.

Charlotte Gutteridge, pictured above, is a current Craft Apprentice working in our Church Village depot in Ponypridd.

Charlotte said: “Being a part of WPDs Apprenticeship scheme has had lots of benefits for me both in a work and personal sense.

“On a personal level, the apprenticeship has helped me to build on my strengths and weaknesses with confidence. I am provided with continued support from the training team and my colleagues to enable me to learn and develop as a Projects Fitter, which has been crucial for me joining an industry in which I had no experience.

“Each day is different, and provides me with an opportunity to learn and enrich my understanding of the technical aspects of the industry.

“Working is something we will do for a very long time, so it's important to enjoy what you do and where you work, and I am lucky to say that I do,” Charlotte concluded.

You can find out more about our current apprenticeships here.

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