SSE is welcoming its engineers of the future with 169 new recruits joining the company across the UK this week.
The 73 Scottish-based apprentices and engineers kicked off their SSE career with a special induction day at McDiarmid Park, Perth today [Thursday August 20th].
Since 2007, more than 800 apprentices have been hired by SSE – a total training investment of £64m, or £80,000 per recruit.
John Stewart, SSE Director of Human Resources, said investing in apprentices and trainees is vital for the future of the energy industry.
He said: “It’s a very special day in our calendar to officially welcome the new apprentices and engineers to SSE.
“We’re backing the talent of tomorrow to the tune of £11.68m this year, investing an average of £80,000 per apprentice. This investment is vital – half of the energy sector’s workforce will leave or retire by 2023.
“Apprenticeships are a fantastic way into a highly skilled and varied career with SSE with 95% of our recruits staying with us after they’ve served their time and we’re delighted to have this team joining our ranks today.”
The energy sector is working hard to attract more women into the industry and this year sees SSE recruit 10 female apprentices and engineers.
John said: “We need a diverse workforce for the future and we want to encourage more women into the energy industry – particularly to our apprenticeship and training programmes.
“This is a step in the right direction but we want to do more. I would encourage other women to consider a career in energy when we reopen our apprenticeship application programme for next year.”
SSE offers apprenticeship programmes lasting three to four years in nine different areas. SSE trainees help maintain the 205,000 km of SSE’s power lines across its distribution and transmission networks and its power stations, wind farms and hydro projects as well as carrying out commercial or domestic electrical work.
It puts trainees through foundation degrees as well as giving them work experience across the business. Graduates then join a two year rotational programme to develop their skills and experience and become professional engineers.
Government and SSE research shows:
- During their working lives apprentices can earn more than £100,000 above the average employee earnings.
- On average 86% of apprentices stay in employment after completing their apprenticeship, with 67% staying with the same employer.
- SSE figures show that since 2012, 95% of its apprentices are still with the company.
- 28% of young people are taking subjects that apply to the energy industry which has an ageing workforce.
- It is estimated that 50% of this sector’s workforce will leave or retire by 2023, therefore 208,000 new people are required within this period.
Laura Sneddon is a 30-year-old Technical Skills Trainee (TST) with Scottish and Southern Energy Power Distribution (SSEPD). She discovered SSE’s training scheme whilst browsing on Twitter during a gap year in Australia and loves the unpredictable nature of her job.
Laura said: “It can take you anywhere – one day you might be out on a job and the next day you could be planning another, or learning about another part of the business. You spend time with jointers, liners and fitters, you undertake managerial-based placements and you spend around 13 weeks of the year studying for your degree.
“I am 30 at the moment, but a lot of people on my course are in their 20s, to think by the time they reach my age they will have 10 years’ of experience behind them is quite something. I love my job and when I meet my friends I am always talking about the different things that I do.”
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