We are determined to provide opportunities for a rewarding career in the energy industry, and our trainee schemes and apprenticeships are a great way to help our teams succeed.
This type of professional growth, where learning is by doing rather than just from a book, was exactly what two young apprentices who have joined Centrica’s Barrow Gas Terminals were looking for.
Lewis Law and Jon Robinson have completed the first year of their apprenticeships and have now started work at the terminals, combining hands-on experience with their studies at Furness College.
Lewis, 17, from Barrow, and Jon, 22, from Liverpool, are both Mechanical Apprentices on Centrica’s four-year apprenticeship scheme. Lewis said: “After leaving school I wanted to go straight into work, and this gave me a great chance to do that while continuing to learn at the same time.”
For Jon, the apprenticeship was an opportunity to turn his passion into a career.
“I have always enjoyed getting my hands dirty – I used to work on old cars with my dad and getting hands-on with the equipment at the terminals has been great,” he said.
“I had looked at other jobs and did work in an office initially, but when the apprenticeship scheme came up I saw straight away that it was for me. It meant I could get the qualifications I wanted, but also offered experience at the terminals.”
Both Lewis and Jon are now focused on completing their apprenticeships and looking forward to where it could lead them.
“Ultimately, I want to work offshore after I complete my apprenticeship.” Jon said. “There are a lot of opportunities with Centrica because of the operations we have around the world.”
Lewis added: “With the right results I could go on to get a degree, which would be a great opportunity for me.”
If it is clear that people recognise the value of this kind of training, there’s still some misconceptions over who can apply for an apprenticeship, as was recently highlighted in an independent national survey* by British Gas to mark National Apprenticeship Week 2016.
The research revealed how millions of discontented workers across Britain, looking to change careers, could be limiting their options by assuming that apprenticeships are just for school leavers. Nearly half would not consider an apprenticeship as a route to a new career and age is a perceived barrier – with almost a quarter of respondents thinking they are too old.
Matthew Bateman, Managing Director for Residential Services at British Gas, said: “At British Gas, we’re striving to be an inclusive employer and our apprentices come from all walks of life. Almost a third of them are over the age of 30, and many are career-changers. I’d encourage people to consider undertaking a high-quality apprenticeship no matter what stage of life they’re at.”
British Gas has hundreds of apprentices in training across its six academies in Hamilton, Leeds, Leicester, Thatcham, Dartford and Tredegar, investing around £30,000 for each apprentice it trains. The business also has a 95 per cent retention rate for apprentices and is rated as ’Outstanding’ by Ofsted.
*The survey was conducted among 4,000 people across the UK, 2208 female and 1792 male. The interviews were conducted by Morar Consulting in January & February 2016.