Energy firm SSE is creating over 100 new apprentice jobs this year and is looking for bright sparks to fill 15 of them in Berkshire and Oxfordshire.
The announcement of the new posts coincides with SSE holding a special education event at its training centre at Thatcham to show local school pupils the benefits of a career in the energy industry, and of apprenticeships.
Over 40 pupils took part from schools including Kennet and Willink, as well as Catherine Bearder, Liberal Democrat MEP for the South East, who toured the centre with pupils from Park House.
SSE's industry-renowned apprentice scheme gives people the chance to achieve qualifications at the same time as gaining practical work experience at one of the UK's largest companies. Since 2007, over 500 apprentices have successfully graduated through SSE's programme and now play a vital role in all aspects of SSE's day to day operations.
The company is now seeking over 100 apprentices for its 2012 scheme to fill vacancies across the UK at sites including:
Southern Electric Power Distribution's Theale (Reading), Oxford and Slough depots
Southern Electric Home Services' Reading office
SSE Contracting in the Oxford, Slough and Reading areas
Catherine Bearder said: "Apprenticeships give young people the experience and skills they need for life. It was great to see SSE pledging to take on apprentices and develop such an impressive programme. They clearly see the benefit both to their business and young people in the area."
Head of SSE's Apprentice Programme Gary Hamilton said: "As industry leaders, we know how important our people are - they're our greatest asset. This is particularly relevant to our apprentices as we invest a lot in their development and progression through the company. Many of our senior staff began their careers as apprentices."
Apprentices spend between three and four years training, combining work placements with formal study for a range of professional qualifications. On offer are Electrical, Gas and Mechanical Advanced Apprenticeships as well as Electrical, Mechanical and Control and Instrumentation Apprenticeships. No experience is required, but candidates must have, or expect to achieve, 4 GCSE / Standard Grade passes (C / 3 or above), to include Maths, English and a Science or Craft subject.
During training, apprentices can expect a starting salary of around £9,000 per annum. SSE also provides excellent employee benefits and future opportunities along with the satisfaction of knowing you are making a difference in today's energy industry.
All apprenticeships will start in August 2012 and applicants have until 18 March to apply for the programme which usually attracts thousands of applications. Anyone interested in applying should visit www.sse-apprentices.co.uk.
Last week was National Apprenticeship Week (6-10 February 2012) which aimed to raise the profile of how beneficial hands-on training schemes can be.