College course for apprentice group

Apprentices at Northumberland College with Graham Edgar, Laura Laidlaw and lecturer Bill Lilburn.
Apprentices at Northumberland College with Graham Edgar, Laura Laidlaw and lecturer Bill Lilburn.

Young apprentices working as part of a revolutionary new contractor model have completed their apprenticeship induction training.

During an intensive one week programme at Northumberland College, the apprentices working for Northern Gas Networks (NGN) gained their SHEA Gas Passport, which is essential for them to work in the industry.

Training covered key elements such as health and safety, first aid and drug and alcohol awareness sessions.

The apprentices, who are employed by five companies, AHUS, Utilergy, USS, CMW and Butler’s Construction, are following the Level 2 Gas Industry Apprenticeship framework and will attend college on a block release basis, four weeks per year, at a time convenient to the business needs.

Laura Laidlow, business development officer at Northumberland College, said: “This is a new partnership between Northumberland College and Northern Gas Networks, whereby the college advertised the apprenticeship vacancies, carried out pre-screening and shortlisted candidates for vacancies in both the north east and Leeds.

“Over 100 candidates applied for the positions, the college selected the 50 strongest applications and invited them to complete pre-apprenticeship training with our employability team.

“Fourteen were successful in gaining employment in the north east, with a further six employed in Leeds, who will complete their training with Leeds College of Building.”

Graham Edgar, 20, from Newbiggin, has been employed by AHUS and will be working as an apprentice service layer for Northern Gas Networks, replacing gas services from steel to plastic.

“When I found out that I was successful gaining the job I was over the moon, especially when I found out how many others were in the running for it. I grabbed the opportunity with both hands,” he said.