Craft Apprentice at National Grid

Start Date:
Programme Type:
Apprenticeship - Advanced Level (Level 3)
Review Date:
November 2020

Review Score


1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:


My role is that of an Apprentice Substation Craftsperson. In this role we effectively look after the HV Transmission equipment found in a substation,up 400kV. I enjoy the work i do on a daily basis and i would recommend the company to anyone, i really fit well in here and i think that i am treat well by the company and they give me plenty of work to do as well as ensure i am on the right track and up to date with all my studies too.

2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?


I developed most of my skills after doing a year at college and working as an engineering assistant before my role at National Grid, however course by course I am learning more and more new skills and looking forward to doing more courses that will fit in to my role. I would like to learn more software and computer skills in the future however there is currently no prospect for this on my agenda with my apprenticeship. I have been told i can pursue this easily after i complete my apprenticeship though which is good.

3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?


I am a practical person, so I enjoy doing the practical courses and getting hands on. However you also have to complete a City & Guilds Qualification which involves quite a bit of paperwork and study, which int my strong point. But once that is out the way I will more than likely enjoy it more. Overall i think the programme is really enjoyable and you can get a lot out of the scheme however there are aspects and areas of it i would definitely say need tweaking and changing for the better.

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4. How well organised/structured is your programme?


The timetable is fairly well structured and organised. Some courses could be a lot shorter to allow us more time on site, but there has been very little change to the starting timetable, but there has been a few cancellations. I would say that personally i am quite an organised person but i find that i don't really need to organise myself within this apprenticeship as the studies, courses and training is all well structured within the business. I think there are a few tweaks that need to be addressed however overall it is a great company.

5. How much support do you receive from your employer?


They invest a lot of money in us as we are the future of the company, they give us a large amount of support. But you mainly see the contractors who come in to deliver the courses and not so much National Grid trainers. I feel as though overall i am looked after well within the company, as previously mentioned, as the apprenticeship is very well structured and organised and i feel as though i dont need to organise myself too much in the business.

6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?


We mainly use a training provider called Aztec, who are very good at what they do and you can also have a bit of a laugh with them. You get to know them very well as they deliver a majority of the courses whilst you are at the Eakring training centre, and they are always willing to help and pass on knowledge from their previous careers. I think that i can go to my training provider whenever i need to so unless i ask for the help i don't really get seen to with questions and asking how i am getting on etc.

7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?


At the National Grid I find that a lot of the qualifications and training i receive at the training centre do help me within my day to day tasks and jobs. I find that i have been able to perform better and i have come a long way over the last few years. I think that the training centre and the tutors are far better than most of the tutors i had at school as they specialise in the field i am working in.

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.)


The training centre is in the middle of no where and not exactly in an exciting area of England so there isnt exactly that much to do. There is a small gym at Eakring (The Training Centre), but you will find that gets full really quickly. I would like to be invited to more out-of-work appointments and get-togethers however i think a scheme is coming into place with people able to post various local events and get-togethers and post it around the work site itself etc.

9a. Would you recommend National Grid to a friend?


9b. Why?

Although I would prefer to have the training centre closer to London/In London, there is no denying the fact that they invest a lot of money in you. You get a variety of different qualifcations which can help you at Grid, or if you wanted to jump to another company in the future. You can also continue to progress, and the company encourages that. Overall highly recommend as i think it's too good an opportunity not to miss, i have thoroughly enjoyed it so far.

10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to National Grid?

Although it is a good apprenticeship, think carefully before you apply/accept the job. The first Year you are at Eakring 70-80% of the time which is a big commitment. The second year, its about 50/50 (going by the preliminary timetable),and the third year is more 80% On site, 20% Eakring. I personally found it really tough at first as it was an unfamiliar area and really different to my previous job, but after some time I settled in and realised that it was a great opportunity and that I should appreciate what I have been given the opportunity to do. The application process is a long one, the Assessment Centre as well. But if you don't know much about Engineering, Maths etc,don't be put off. You will learn everything you need to know.

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