Energy firm takes on new apprentices

Gloria De Piero, MP for Ashfield, (centre) meets E.ON's new apprentices.
Gloria De Piero, MP for Ashfield, (centre) meets E.ON's new apprentices.

A new batch of apprentices have just completed their first week with energy company E.ON - and have been congratulated on their achievement by Ashfield ‘s MP.

Fifteen young people aged between 16 and 24 years of age have joined E.ON’s Customer Service Apprenticeship scheme and spoke to the Gloria De Piero MP about what it means to them when she visited the firm’s Annesley offices last week.

The new recruits will undertake a paid pre-apprenticeship programme - comprising of seven weeks sector-ready training - and those who show potential will progress onto the full apprenticeship.

This is a structured one-year programme, specialising in both ‘on the job’ and ‘off the job’ training, including work experience in key areas across Customer Operations.

Dave Newborough, HR Director for E.ON UK, said: “We want to ensure that we are recruiting a diverse range of candidates from the communities in which we are based and believe that this pilot has the potential to tap into the huge pool of talent across the UK.

“Not only is this a new recruitment strategy for us as a company, helping to improve our services for our customers, but it will help the government’s youth unemployment agenda by providing real opportunities and real jobs for young people.

“One week in and we have already seen some fantastic progress and potential from the 15 new trainees.”

Nathan Smith (24), from Kirkby, is one of the new recruits and had been looking for work for a while before landing this opportunity.

He said: “I applied for the apprenticeship scheme to develop new skills and understand how E.ON helps its customers.

“E.ON is a big company and has welcomed us with open arms. The support we have received so far has been brilliant.”

Gloria said that apprenticeship schemes such as E.ON’s are ‘vital’ in helping to cut long-term youth unemployment in Ashfield.

She added: “As the local MP it makes me really proud when I see young people like this - talented and ambitious and already making an impression on bosses. I wish them the best of luck.”

Those who don’t progress beyond the pre-apprenticeship programme will still have gained valuable skills and an E.ON Certificate of Employability, highlighting the experience gained and training undertaken. The company will also work to find other opportunities for these young people within the industry.

E.ON is implementing the phased pilot in Nottingham where it has several sites, including the city and surrounding areas such as Annesley near Mansfield, and strong links to local communities. The energy company will gradually extend the programme across other key regions in which it operates, with the next round of applications due to open in the Autumn.