1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Receiving either planned work or fault work on the electricity Distribution grid. Planned work can involve maintenance renewal of old poles and plant equipment. Also includes new electric services and alterations to properties ensuring a safe solid supply to every customer. Fault work can be a large variety of tasks such as worn out equipment, or broken due to adverse weather or 3rd party damage. During the apprenticeship I must create a portfolio of pictures and detailed description of every type of task I would be eventually qualified to do, this can be difficult when most of the large projects are given to contractors resulting in the apprentices trying to pile on to small jobs where the work load is not enough for that many learners but the work is definitely out there to do.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Over the 3 to 4 years I have switched around teams doing all the above mentioned so gained an all round knowledge of the electricity distribution. Within this have learned to use a variety of tools and special equipment that has also given me confidence and skills to help in more simple non work related tasks also with a more Health & Safety mindset as this is applied hugely in the job role.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
Working in the outside environment at heights and working our way round problems with our safe working practices in place. The job requires a lot of teamwork to overcome problems using everyone's knowledge and skill and sharing the work load to have the tasks done as efficiently as possible.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
The actual training school for overhead lines is well put together with a mix of classroom work to give us that technical knowledge of the tasks we are to be given. Then generally we will go out and practice this physically by putting up the poles and conductors in the field.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
The management and generally pretty helpful as they want the apprentices to be as helpful and skilled as possible to eventually be under their team. When working on site the teams are normally pretty patient with the learners as they appreciate the role requires a lot of thought and forward thinking and were once in their shoes. At times such as fault scenarios this can be a real test for a learner as it is generally more rushed but can also be motivation to progress and get faster at tasks.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
When it comes to day to day depot work it can be hard for some apprentices if most of the teams have already got a trainee and the work load is not there or given to contractors some can be left with nothing to do which leaves them not learning a great deal for their future job role and resulting in the future work quality being poor. Especially for younger learners they could do with some more enthusiastic and willing people in training that really want the best for each learner coming on board to be motivational because as a learner on here you are expected to be totally independent planning your own work routine with teams to go with to complete the portfolio in time so it is stressful and mentally draining as it is and then if home life is also busy can be too much for anyone.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
The qualification is not an easy one to achieve and makes you appreciate the job role and wanting to do the best job possible. Also if a safety incident was to occur due to a serious mistake there is high chances of losing these qualifications so it is vital to perform our jobs in the most safe way possible, giving the employer a good reputation for getting everyone home safe.
8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)
Some teams have clubs outside of work to have days out with them and their families for example cinema, skydiving, go karting, this is great for the moral and getting everyone together so when you come to work it doesn't feel as hard hitting. Some have mutual interests you can join with at weekends.
9a. Would you recommend SSE to a friend?
The company really help you to mature with safe working and learning many different skills that can help in life in general. Communication is a key one as this can save lives and helps work be completed much faster and easier. They have some great employee benefits too for outside of work.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to SSE?
Be willing to show others you can work hard and you will find others helping you in return. The training side can be very draining, stressful and slow but the benefits of getting through it pays off in the long run with a great job for a lifetime with your own kit and responsibilities.
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