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200 new apprenticeships offered by British Gas

200 new British Gas apprenticeships have been announced today at the GMB Congress.

The apprentices, who will graduate to jobs installing, servicing and repairing energy efficient boilers and central heating systems in homes across the UK, will benefit from two years of training, rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted.

All the apprenticeships involve a mix of training at the British Gas Academy and time spent working in customers’ homes learning from a fully trained British Gas engineer.

British Gas has a proud history of training apprentices. It has recruited and trained over 3,300 apprentices in the last ten years and invests around £30,000 for each apprentice it trains. Last year British Gas invested £10million in its training academies and apprentices. All apprentices complete the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award as part of the programme.

36 of the 200 apprentices have already been recruited across Scotland, Birmingham, Leicester and Guildford and will start their Central Heating Installation apprenticeship this month in the academies. Applications for the remaining 164 apprenticeships, in the service and repair division, will open in the next month. Applicants can register their interest now and find out more information at www.britishgasjobs.co.uk

Gary Smith, GMB National Secretary for Energy and Utilities, said:

"The British Gas apprenticeship is the best available. It is a real apprenticeship scheme that equips young people for life.

“It is great news that amongst all the economic gloom and with unemployment amongst the young soaring that so many opportunities are being created.

“GMB has always been 100% behind creating apprenticeships at British Gas. Every GMB Member is so positive about this announcement"

Chris Jansen, Managing Director of Services at British Gas, said:

“We’re proud of our apprentices and the role they play in helping our customers’ homes stay warm and in good working order.

“With the economy facing tough times, apprenticeships offer a clear route to a job with skills and prospects for life. As a successful company we are able to offer these opportunities to people.

“Applicants often think that they need the technical skills in place already before they apply. Interpersonal skills are actually more important to us. We can teach the technical knowledge, we’re looking for people who are natural communicators and want to give great service to our customers.”

The 200 apprentices announced today are in addition to 61 smart metering apprentices, 12 electrical services apprentices and 209 Service and Repair apprentices currently being trained in the British Gas academies.

A snapshot survey of British Gas apprentices conducted earlier this year found that 98% of apprentices say that their apprenticeship has set them up well for life. 98% would recommend an apprenticeship to a friend and 94% say they’re financially better off in the long run and better prepared for the world of work, than friends who went on to college or university.

Notes to Editors

1. The survey was carried out between 4th – 7th March 2013 for National Apprentice Week and is based on 54 responses from current British Gas apprentices.

2. As well as registering interest on www.britishgasjobs.co.uk, applicants can find out more about these opportunities and others at www.plotr.co.uk – an online portal providing career advice and opportunities developed by some of the UK’s leading employers with British Gas owner, Centrica, being one of the founding partners.

3. Other locations where the 36 apprentices have been recruited include Naseby, Lincolnshire, Staines and North Surrey

About British Gas

British Gas is the UK's leading energy supplier, and serves around 12 million homes in Britain – nearly half the country's homes – as well as providing energy to around one million UK businesses. British Gas provides value for money, dedicated customer service, innovative energy solutions and the highest quality Home Services expertise in the country. Find out more at www.britishgas.co.uk.

Contact: British Gas press office 0800 1077 015

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