A youngster from Weston-Super-Mare has started his apprenticeship training programme with Wales & West Utilities as he bids to play a key role in the future of the company.

The new recruit, Jack Thorn, successfully earned a place on the company’s highly regarded apprenticeship programme and will now train to support its multi-million pound work across Wales and the south west of England.

He is part of the company’s latest apprenticeship programme which sees twenty-four people from across its operating area join the company.

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.

New apprentice Jack Thorne

This year’s intake of new recruits marks an increase on the last year’s apprentice numbers, which stood at twenty-two, and is 200 per cent up on the company’s 2013 figures. Wales & West Utilities is committed to delivering on its apprenticeship plans and seeks to attract more young people into the gas industry through its bespoke training programmes.

Jack, age 18, said:

I am thrilled to have been accepted onto Wales & West Utilities apprenticeship scheme. The number of places on offer meant the competition was extremely tough, so getting a place is amazing.

“Wales & West Utilities has an impressive record of continuous training and it means I can now develop my career in a working environment with some of the best training in the industry.

“Making sure 7.5 million people are kept safe and warm is no mean feat and maintaining the gas distribution network is an ongoing task. I am looking forward to playing my part and benefiting communities throughout Wales and the south west of England.”

The apprentices will carry out all their training at Wales & West Utilities’ state of the art training academies in Treforest, south Wales, and Bridgwater, Somerset, as well as local colleges.

Wales & West Utilities' 2016 apprentice intake

The 2016 intake will focus on the companies Build & Repair teams that maintain existing gas equipment and lay new gas supply pipes, as well as Mechanical Engineers and Electrical and Instrumentation Engineers for Network Services teams who maintain the control systems of the gas network.

The apprenticeship opportunities were advertised through the company’s website and social media channels as well as through local schools, colleges and Job Centre Plus.

Wales & West Utilities Director of Human Resources Sarah Hopkins said:

“We were delighted with the number of applicants to our apprenticeship programme this year. We’re preparing our business to meet the challenges of the future and recruiting the next generation of gas engineers is a key part of this.

“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 to help us maintain this in the future.”

Wales & West Utilities has a team of more than 1000 trained and experienced engineers to help serve the 7.5m people across Wales and the south west of England 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.