I had worked in the Electricity Industry for a number of years when WPD took over. After going through a number of company changes, WPD has undoubtedly been the best to work for in my 31 years in the industry.
A typical day as an Estates Officer would involve site meetings with landowners, tenants, land agents and professional bodies to discuss and agree works to obtain their voluntary co-operation and permission to erect or move apparatus on their land. Other site visits would include checking land damage after we have carried out work and negotiating fair compensation claims with the landowner or agent. The Estates officer is responsible for relations with the landowner/tenant and for dealing with their requests, claims and complaints on a daily basis. There are also dealings with our company solicitors to ensure all legal paperwork covering our apparatus is correct and completed.
The best thing about working here is that you feel part of a team and you know your role within that team. You are trusted to work on your own initiative but with the knowledge that if you require advice or back up, it is always there for you.
There is a culture of teamwork first and foremost. Staff know that results are important and colleagues have to trust each other and treat each other with respect to get the most out of each other.
To be successful here you need to be able to be a team player but also take on responsibility and use your initiative to see a job or problem through to its close. Taking ownership of a task is important within WPD.
From an Estates and Wayleaves point of view, Estates officers have been recruited from both clerical and manual staff from within and outside the industry as well as professionally qualified people. Once appointed, there are various courses that are available run internally by WPD but also outside bodies such as the Royal Agricultural Society to enhance your career and professional profile.
I think there is an achievement albeit sometimes small in every single day! To obtain voluntary permissions from landowners is not always an easy task and there are sometimes many obstacles to overcome. To see a scheme cleared to be programmed is in itself a small achievement, to solve a complaint, to clear a job, to achieve a win-win for both the company and the landowner gives a sense of achievement.
Dealing with irate people can be difficult sometimes and there are days when you are sworn at and have derogatory remarks hurled at you. The challenge is not to take it personally whilst still treating these people with understanding and respect when you are representing the company.
I would always encourage someone to apply for a job or an apprenticeship with WPD. They are good employers with good terms and conditions. There is opportunity to be trained within the various roles within the company and opportunity to advance your career.