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gas apprenticeships

A record twenty-two apprentices have joined Wales & West Utilities and are set to start working across Wales and the south West of England.

The new intake of recruits is part of the gas distribution network’s commitment to investing in colleagues to make sure they have the skills, confidence and innovative thinking to help build a business that is fit to deliver for customers long into the future.

The new apprentices will contribute to the company’s drive to continuing to deliver outstanding customer service and meeting business plans to deliver its multi-million-pound 30-year gas pipe replacement programme.

They will be based across the company’s operating area and are starting their various training programmes to 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.

This year’s intake of new recruits marks a significant increase on the last intake in 2013, which saw the company employ eight apprentices, as Wales & West Utilities pursues its aim of attracting more young people into the gas industry.

While previously apprentices have focused on the company’s gas emergency service, this year marks a different focus for the new recruits. This is the first time apprentices have been recruited for Build & Repair teams to maintain existing gas equipment and also to support the teams delivering the company’s 30 year gas pipe replacement programme, carried out by Wales & West Utilities and long term contractor partners, AMEC Foster Wheeler and Morrison Utilities.

The apprenticeship opportunities were advertised through the company’s website, social media channels as well as through local schools, colleges and Job Centre Plus, and the response was overwhelming with hundreds of candidates putting themselves forward for the new roles.

The apprentices have just completed their induction week and are now set to start on their training in earnest. The Build & Repair apprentices will start a NVQ level 3 three-year training programme to achieve competency in gas pipe and service laying. Those working for the replacement teams will start a NVQ level 2 City & Guilds two-year programme to achieve the skills that will enable them to become competent network construction operatives.

All necessary training will be carried out at Wales & Welsh Utilities’ £3 million training Academy in Treforest, south Wales.

Wales and West Utilities Apprenticeship

Laura Warner, 24, from St. Mellons in Cardiff, is one of the apprentices who has just joined Wales & West Utilities. She said: “I am thrilled to have been successful in my apprenticeship application. There is no substitute for on-the-job learning and I am excited about the prospect of working for a company like Wales & West Utilities.

“Maintaining the gas distribution network is an ongoing task and replacing old gas pipes with new ones is a massive programme that brings real benefits to communities throughout Wales and the south west of England. I’m looking forward to playing my part and seeing what the future holds.”

Wales & West Utilities HR Director Sarah Hopkins added: “Designing our business to be fit for the future is key to making sure that we can continue to keep our customers safe and warm. Recruiting the next generation of gas engineers and training them to deliver the highest levels of gas safety is key to the continued success of our business.

“Wales & West Utilities has a reputation for providing outstanding levels of customer service and we are counting on our new recruits to help maintain these levels into the future.”

Wales & West Utilities is undertaking a multi-million-pound 30-year mains replacement programme, across Wales and the south west, 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. 

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.