An apprentice from Hastings is learning how to keep the lights on his community with Britain’s biggest power distribution company, UK Power Networks.
Kenny Davison-Mitchell, who is 20, will be expertly trained as a linesman in the specialist skills that deliver electricity to local homes, schools, hospitals and businesses.
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He will learn to safely climb electricity poles and repair, maintain and connect overhead power lines. The company has over 46,000 kilometres of overhead power lines, which help keep power flowing to 8.3million customers across the South East, London and the East of England.
Kenny, a former St Leonard’s Academy student, said: “When I’m qualified I will be keeping the power on for people by maintaining the cables and working with teams to fix any power outages.
“I was over the moon to get the job as I always wanted to work in the power industry. I enjoy working with my hands and having a trade skill and career always appealed to me.
“My first impressions are that the apprenticeship is very good, highly organised and the company is really keen for us to succeed in our training. They are pulling out all the stops for us.”
In the summer Lewis Edwards, James Hall, Matthew Taylor, and Jude Edmunds, who are also from St Leonards and Hastings, started the same apprenticeship.
Now Kenny has joined them on the next intake, beginning a three-year apprenticeship training scheme that follows rigorous standards, which include a qualification in electrical power engineering.
His core training and college work will be completed at the company’s dedicated training centres in Kent and Suffolk and he will put his new skills into practice from a depot in Polegate.
Steven Read, trainees’ programmes manager at UK Power Networks, said: “Ensuring that we have skilled crafts people working on our distribution network is key to ensure that our customers’ electricity supply is maintained. The recruitment and training of apprentices enable us to grow our skills base, which is important in our industry.
“Our chosen candidates should be proud of their success. It was a highly competitive process and we always look for a very specific type of person who will have the dedication and ability needed for these crucial roles.”
There were over 1,100 applications for the apprenticeship scheme this year. Foundation trainees, like Kenny, will have a chance to complete a Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award during their training.
UK Power Networks currently has 99 apprentices completing training with the company.