THE Secretary of State for Education has been shown how effective apprenticeships can be in creating new careers.

Northern Powergrid welcomed Damian Hinds during a recent visit of its training facilities before meeting several apprentices at different stages in their programmes.

The power network, which delivers electricity to close to 4m homes and businesses across the North-East, Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire, demonstrated how apprenticeships were helping power its future workforce. It also showed how it was creating new career opportunities, through apprenticeships, for people from a range of different backgrounds.

In addition to its Power Network Craft Apprenticeships for people looking to develop a career based around the craft skills needed to build, maintain and repair power networks, electrical power plant, overhead lines and cables, and its Power Network Engineer Apprenticeships, the electricity network operator is leading the way with two of the UK’s first energy sector cyber apprentices.

This year it has also introduced new apprenticeships to create a new generation of network control engineers and design engineers who will have the skills to manage the company’s power network and design future network investments and new electricity connections.

Mr Hinds said: “It was great to meet the apprentices and staff at Northern Powergrid. They are an excellent example of how industry is working with government to create more high quality apprenticeships so businesses can recruit the skilled workforce they need for a rapidly changing world. I was really impressed with the high standard of training and facilities, and to see how apprenticeships are helping people of all ages and backgrounds to gain new skills and get on in life. I wish them all the best for the future.”