Government minister visits apprentices at the National Grid at Eakring

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Energy and Climate Change Minister Baroness Verma gained a first-hand insight into National Grid’s highly-regarded apprenticeship schemes, during a visit to the company’s Eakring training centre in Nottinghamshire.

Baroness Verma, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, was visting Eakring as part of National Apprenticeship Week. During a tour of the site she chatted to gas and electricity apprentices, hearing about their training and work.

Baroness Verma said: “National Grid’s apprenticeship programmes are helping equip hundreds of people with the important skills they need for a successful career in the energy sector. It was great to see the excellent training facilities on offer at National Grid’s Academy in Eakring and to speak to current apprentices about their roles.

“Apprenticeships are a key part of the Government’s drive to boost growth. Today the Prime Minister launched new ‘degree apprenticeships’ and there are many other opportunities up for grabs across the East Midlands and beyond.”

National Grid is training 133 apprentices and is recruiting a further 83 for September 2015. On average, the apprenticeships last for three years and approximately half of that time will be spent training at Eakring.

Craig Smith, National Grid’s UK Acadamy Manager – Technical and New Talent, said: “Apprentices are the life-blood of National Grid. They are our workforce of the future and we were delighted to be able to show Baroness Verma the work we are doing. We have invested over £9 million in our Eakring training centre during the last three years, ensuring our apprentices have world class training facilities to develop their practical skills.”

Baroness Verma was joined on the visit by Mark Spencer, MP for Sherwood. He commented: “My number one mission is to deliver local jobs. The work National Grid is doing – training the next generation - is at the forefront of this and I am delighted to support this work.”

Following a tour of the site, Baroness Verma and Mr Spencer took part in a round-table discussion on energy issues and skills in the East Midlands, chaired by Liz Fothergill CBE, President of the Chamber of Commerce for Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire. Among those attending were local business representatives and the University of Nottingham.