Enterprise - Apprentice Programme

Skills in the Workplace Award, Big Tick 2011, Reaccredited 2012, 2013

Enterprise realised that they needed to change their approach to address a shortage of skilled workers in the utilities industry and ran a trial programme for apprentices which has gone from strength to strength.

Business benefits

  • Compliance has increased by 20 % in teams where a trainee has been in place
  • The business now has an additional 19 trained operatives and 14 team leaders which allow us to complete extra work with a monetary value in the region of £40,000

Society benefits

  • Increased confidence from clients that the company has a succession plan in place when securing additional work.

It is extremely pleasing that our Coalition Partners continue to invest in the young people that will represent the future of National Grid and Enterprise. We have had a number of apprentices finish and qualify and we are now looking to develop them into future leaders and managers

- Gary Powell,
Operations Manager National Grid West Coalition

To address these issues Enterprise realised that they needed to change their approach. In November 2008, the business ran a trial programme for 16 year old apprentices doing gas service laying. Their initial target was 15 apprentices over the first two years with a 75% retention rate. They achieved 19, remaining for the duration against 21 starters and a 90% retention rate. The majority of the trainees are NEETS without 5 gcse’s who would have struggled to get on an apprenticeship elsewhere. These 19 are now qualified at level 2 and are all team members (two are acting team leaders).

Six more apprentices were recruited, which included an injured marine who was being discharged from active service, and an ex young offender.

They have helped to reinforce awareness of health and safety and customer service, and one has been nominated for a customer service award. Enterprise also also put three serving offenders from HMP Sudbury through the level 2 programme and two are now in fulltime employment with the company.

The programme also been extended to cover reinstatement, water and power with a further 35 apprentices being recruited before July 2011 to work in the water and power sectors using the same model.

Enterprise has also built an operational training site at their Stafford base to facilitate ongoing training.