- The Prime Minister welcomes the announcement as he visits the British Gas Training Academy in Leicester with the Chancellor.
- The company’s ambition is that 50 per cent of recruits are women.
- The Prime Minister and the Chancellor also help take delivery of the 500th British Gas electric van – making it the UK’s largest electric vehicle fleet.
Today, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak have welcomed Centrica’s commitment to recruit and train 3,500 apprentices over the next ten years, which will help the UK economy provide the green skills required to support the Government’s target to deliver net zero.
The Prime Minister and the Chancellor also unveiled the company’s 500th electric vehicle, one of the 3,000 Vauxhall Vivaro-e vehicles purchased over the last two years representing the largest electric vehicle order for a commercial fleet in the UK.
"Upskilling people around the country is crucial to scaling up the UK’s green industrial revolution over the next decade. Centrica’s commitment to hire and train 3,500 apprentices will build the next generation of clean energy experts, who will go on to install the electric vehicle charge-points and heat pumps we need across the UK. Through our Plan for Jobs, we’re supporting more and more people from all backgrounds to start new careers in innovative industries and get the right skills for the future."
Prime Minister, Boris Johnson
As part of a UK drive to boost the take up of apprenticeship roles, two new British Gas electric vans will be travelling from John O'Groats to Land’s End this week visiting key cities, including Glasgow, Salford, Wolverhampton and Cardiff, with engineers encouraging people to gain green skills by applying for an apprenticeship.
Apprentices will receive technical skills training and the knowledge they need for the job at one of the award-winning British Gas training academies in Dartford, Hamilton, Thatcham and Leicester. Once qualified as Smart Energy Experts, they will be upskilled to install and maintain carbon-efficient technologies, including electric vehicle charging points, heat pumps, hydrogen boilers, and provide essential energy efficiency advice to customers.
Centrica’s recruitment drive also aims to boost the number of women working in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) roles. The company's ambition is that 50 per cent of recruits are women.
"We’re creating thousands of highly-skilled and well-paid British jobs to ensure that we have a work-force that can help to make the transition to low carbon both hassle-free and affordable for our customers and to support the Government’s ambitious targets to make net zero a reality. It’s important that we address the low representation of women who currently work in STEM roles, which is why we have a targeted campaign to attract and retain more female recruits. Together, we can create a more inclusive and sustainable future that supports our communities, our planet and each other"
Chris O'Shea, Group Chief Executive, Centrica
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said: “I’m delighted that Centrica is investing in our future innovative leaders.
“As we have seen in this pandemic, women have been at the forefront of improving the lives of people across the country, and we want to encourage more and more women into these vital roles in STEM.
“Apprenticeships are a cornerstone of our Plan for Jobs, and these new opportunities ensure that people across the UK are given the tools and skills they need to fulfil their true potential.”
Clarice Payne, British Gas Smart Energy Expert Apprentice, said: “One of the biggest challenges in this job is changing the mindset of some people who believe women should not be engineers and the prejudice that can come with that. My perception of this career is that it’s always been a male-dominated job role. I want to represent women and play my part in showing people that anyone can work in engineering.
"The training I've already received is second to none, and I'm constantly learning. Following the pandemic, it's more important than ever to be in a stable job and one that will always be in demand. I'm excited to be part of our engineering workforce of the future as we support the move towards net zero by installing electric vehicle chargers and heat pumps."
Centrica is a leading energy services and solutions provider founded on a 200-year heritage of serving people. We are the UK’s biggest retailer of zero carbon electricity, serving around 10 million customers across the UK, Ireland and Continental Europe through brands such as British Gas, supported by around 9,000 highly trained engineers and technicians. Centrica’s purpose of helping customers live sustainably, simply and affordably drives our strategy and our People and Planet Plan.
About Centrica’s electric vehicles
With over 12,000 vehicles on the road, British Gas has committed to making them all-electric by 2025, five years ahead of the Government's deadline to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars.
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