Ben Haycock a Network Technician Apprentice in 2013 standing in front of Anglian Water van

Forty-two apprentices will be given their chance to shine in 2014 as Anglian Water starts one of its biggest apprenticeship intake to date.

Recruitment opens next week (Monday 24 March) for the first wave of apprentices. They will graduate after four years into permanent positions with Anglian Water, an offer not all apprenticeship schemes provide. The second phase of recruitment starts in July, with apprentices joining an 18 month apprenticeship programme.

The 42 new recruits will join more than 90 other apprentices already progressing through our various four year and 18 month programmes.

Anglian Water’s Apprenticeships are aimed at people aged 16 and older, who have at least five GCSE (or equivalent) grades A to C in both English and Maths. Successful applicants will join as permanent employees and will study for vocational qualifications in Electrical & Mechanical Engineering.

The 2014 apprentices will be based all over the East Anglia region, but specifically Colchester, Ipswich, Lincoln, Milton Keynes, Norwich, Scunthorpe, Sheringham, Stoke Ferry and Sudbury. Their locations are mapped to the retirement profiles of Anglian Water’s current employee base.
Talking about his experience, Ben Haycock, who is 24 and joined Anglian Water as a Network Technician Apprentice in 2013, said: “In my former job at a car plant my prospects for promotion and salary increases were limited. I couldn’t afford to go to college to study full-time at my age, so the apprenticeship was perfect for me.

“Since starting, I’ve learned so much and gained loads of experience. It’s been a lot of hard work but I feel that’s a really big achievement. What I love most is the variety. Every day is different and you know you’ll never be going to the same place twice, so I would really recommend it for people that want that from their job. Thanks to the Apprenticeship, I’m now saving for a house while I learn.”

Colin Hinge, who joined Anglian Water as an apprentice 14 years ago and is now Supply Performance Manager in charge of five water treatment works, 52 smaller sites and 22 technicians, said: “Anglian Water invested time in me and the other apprentices because they knew we were the future of the team. The apprenticeships offer brilliant training and support, and everyone in the team helped me to become the manager I am today. Now I have two apprentices in my own team and I look forward to helping them develop in the same way. I think it’s encouraging for them to know that I came into the business via the same route.”

Phil Brown, Head of People Development for Anglian Water, explained: “Nurturing talented young people is vital for the future of our business and supports the region’s economy.

“A few years ago we looked at the age profile of our existing workforce and saw clearly we had a growing challenge. We have many highly skilled and experienced, long serving employees and replacing them upon their retirement will be no quick or easy task. So, we have chosen to bring in the new leaders of Anglian Water now, developing the lifeblood of our future business through apprenticeships.

“We have grown our apprenticeship intake and since then, we’ve recruited more than 130 new Apprentices. We already know that growing your own pays dividends, as many of our current senior managers joined on such schemes as either apprentices or graduate trainees.

Phil continued: “We also recognise that second careers are becoming more common. People might want to try something new, turn their interests into a career perhaps, and that’s why we look for potential talent. Qualifications are important but beyond that we need individuals who are practical, problems solvers and who have an eye for the importance of customer service”.

In their first year, apprentices on the four year programme are based at Grantham College full time, living and studying together. After this, they start work in the field with a mentor and spend one week in four at college. Apprentices on the 18-month programme work in the field from day one and are provided training by WaterSkills.

Salaries for the four year apprenticeship programme start at £12,000 a year and go up with each year of the programme. Once graduated the starting salary is around £23,000 with additional benefit including a company van and shift allowance, bringing the total package to circa £30,000.

Anyone interested in the Anglian Water Apprenticeship programmes can find out more and complete an online application by visiting www.anglianwater.co.uk/trainees.