National Apprenticeship Week 2021: Meet power apprentice Josh Pavey
9 February 2021: To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week, power apprentice Josh Pavey, 20, from Basingstoke, describes his role with UK Power Networks Services, learning the skills that keep power supplies flowing to essential electricity infrastructure.
Tell us about your background?
I went to Bishop Challoner Catholic Secondary School in Basingstoke then did A-levels at Queen Mary’s College. Initially I went to university but realised that it wasn’t right for me and I decided to apply for apprenticeships.
Why did the apprenticeship interest you?
An apprenticeship is a different way of learning. I like to be hands on with my learning so it made more sense to me.
What will your job involve?
I’m training to be an underground cable jointer. I had no idea what a ‘jointer’ was, it’s not a job many people know about. Jointers work on mains electricity cables, the bigger electricity cables that bring electricity to your home or business to provide a reliable supply. We join cables together and connect them to electrical equipment, such as transformers. It is not work you often see because the cables are hidden underground.
It’s a really important role because everyone uses electricity for everything from mobile phones, to TVs and lighting. Without us, the world couldn’t function.
Best part of the job so far?
There have been many good times but the best part of the job so far was when I passed my first training course and could work on the network. It was nerve-racking working on a live cable for the first time but an important milestone.
The best part of my training was our team-building week in the Lake District. It’s probably one of the best weeks I have ever had.
I’m part way through the Duke of Edinburgh Gold scheme as part of my apprenticeship, which is really challenging and there’s a great sense of achievement doing that.
Favourite part of the apprenticeship?
We get a substantial amount of support with our apprenticeship and if we have any sort of problem there are people we can go to for help. People in the company talk to us as equals. It was surreal to me to get that treatment as an apprentice.
What impact will new innovations such as electric vehicles, greener generation (such as solar and wind) and heat pumps will have on your job?
These will all have a very positive impact on my job, and the planet. We have already started connecting numerous EV charging points for cars, which has been very interesting. In future, with technological advancements, I hope we can see solar and wind becoming more and more critical in supplying a vast amount of electricity. These are all very important and the quicker they become reliable sources of electricity, the better for the country, and for the planet.
Advice to others considering this apprenticeship?
Just do it and if you are successful focus and work on it, because it’s so rewarding. Listen to what is asked of you and get your head down because it can be a job for life. It’s not school, it’s not college, it’s a job, so take it seriously, but don’t forget to enjoy yourself!