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Two young people from Somerset have started their apprenticeship programme with Wales & West Utilities as the company continues to work hard to keep the gas flowing to homes and businesses while preparing to meet future challenges.

The new recruits, Nathan Harris from Somerton and Jake Lewis from Burnham on Sea, successfully earned places on the company’s highly regarded apprenticeship programme and will now train to support the work it does to keep communities across Wales and the south west of England safe and warm.

The Somerset recruits are part of a programme which has seen 21 apprentices and two graduates join the company.

L-R: Somerset's Nathan Harris and Jake Lewis 

The apprentices and graduates have been recruited from across the company’s operating area after Wales & West Utilities launched the recruitment drive earlier this year. The apprentices will be joining the company’s engineering teams to repair gas leaks, lay new gas connections and maintain the gas network, while graduates will be based in the company’s Newport headquarters and focus on achieving Chartered Engineer status.

Nathan, age 22, said:

“I am delighted to start the apprenticeship programme with Wales & West Utilities.

“The company’s training programme is very well regarded and I’m really looking forward to starting my career in a working environment with some of the best training in the industry.

“I am excited to play my part in helping to make sure the 7.5 million people we serve across are kept safe and warm.”

The apprentices will carry out all their training at Wales & West Utilities’ state of the art training academy in Treforest, south Wales as well as local colleges. The three-year programme will help the young people develop the skills to deliver a fast, efficient service that will keep customers safe and warm with a gas supply they can rely on for years to come.

Since starting operations in 2005 Wales & West Utilities has recruited more than 160 apprentices, with more than 15 per cent of the company’s operational team having joined as apprentices. Alongside the graduate programme, this is a key part of the company’s investment in people to make sure that it has the skills, confidence and innovative thinking to face future challenges.

Wales & West Utilities People & Engagement Director Sarah Hopkins said:

Our apprenticeship and graduate programmes are great opportunities and offer long term benefits to those taking part. We’re delighted with how they have grown over the years and we are pleased to, once again, offer talented people across Wales and the south west of England the opportunity to learn while they earn.

“Apprentices and graduates are vital to our business and working with them we can make sure that we keep specialist skills in our business for the benefit of the communities we serve. 

“We have a reputation for providing outstanding levels of gas safety, reliability and customer service to the 7.5m people we serve – and we’re counting on our new apprentices and graduates to help us maintain this in the future.”

Wales & West Utilities has recently been awarded Silver accreditation against the Investors in People Standard, demonstrating their commitment to high performance through good people management.

Wales & West Utilities has a team of more than 1000 trained and experienced engineers to help serve the 7.5m people across the south west of England and Wales that rely on its gas emergency and pipeline services. If anyone smells gas, thinks they have a gas leak, or suspects carbon monoxide poisoning, they should call us on 0800 111 999 and our engineers will be there to help, day or night. 

Our team is also working on a multi-million pound, 30-year gas pipe investment programme which began in 2002. Old metal pipes within 30 metres of buildings are being replaced with new long-lasting plastic pipes with a lifespan of more than 80 years, to make sure homes and businesses continue to receive a safe and reliable gas supply now and in the future.