I wanted to work in the electricity industry and wanted to train and learn hands on skills. I wasn’t too keen on staying on in college or going to university so an apprenticeship was the best option. I saw an advert in my local paper and, when I started researching, liked the standard of training on offer and the fact that I would likely have a permanent role when my training was complete. I loved the idea of working outside and in a physically and mentally demanding job.
My main role involves the construction, maintenance and repairs of underground Low Voltage and High Voltage cables. I also get involved in various overhead tasks and schemes. I construct schemes such as cable diversions, substation installations, property developments and supply upgrades.
The role also involves fault repairs and standby duties. These faults can range from a small job at a customer’s meter position in a domestic property to high voltage faults where the challenge is to restore supplies to sometimes hundreds of customers.
I like the freedom and variety the job offers. I am able to divide my time between being in the office to being out on site and working alongside craftsmen and other people and trades - no two days are the same.
Very much a team based culture where you fail and succeed together, driven by safety and customer service standards.
A helpful and positive attitude towards learning and completing tasks well is vital. Working alongside others and maintaining high standards of work and service play an important role in making your career a success also.
I undertook a four year apprenticeship, which was in a different format to the current apprenticeship on offer. I then progressed as a jointer undertaking several different courses to assist my development, including high voltage switching courses and 33kV jointing. I also completed a BTEC. The culmination of these courses, qualifications and on site experience were crucial in my career progressing from a jointer to becoming a technician.
Gaining the position and successfully completing my training as a Senior Authorised Person.
The biggest challenge I have had was moving to start a new role in a new depot when I first became a Technician. Although I knew some of the people I’d be working alongside, I wasn’t familiar with the area or the majority of the team. During my time there I got to know my new colleagues well and made some good friends there too. They helped me to settle into a new role, taught me a lot and helped train me to gain the experience and knowledge I needed to complete my training.
If you want a job where no two days are the same, where you get to spend a lot of time outdoors working alongside others, often in difficult conditions and always challenging you mentally and physically, then go for it.
The potential rewards if you can apply yourself well are excellent with high standards of training opportunities and career progression available. Personally, I have enjoyed the opportunities and experience that working at WPD for the last 18 years has given me.