National Apprenticeship Week 2023
We’re celebrating the achievements of apprentices working in the water industry as part of this year’s National Apprenticeship week.
The water industry employs apprentices in every region of the country, providing valuable experience and comprehensive training across a wide range of areas: from technicians, to engineers, and learning and development roles.
We’ve asked apprentices from around the country to share their experience working in the water industry. If you’re interested in finding out about water company apprenticeships available in your area, contact your local water company.
Alex, Maintenance Technician Apprentice, Anglian Water
Alex always wanted a practical job that would challenge him and provide plenty of career progression opportunities. Working for one of the biggest water companies in the UK as an apprentice means he can fulfil this ambition while gaining a nationally recognised qualification in his chosen field.
His job involved maintaining and fixing anything mechanical or electrical within water treatment, from pump maintenance to repairing gearboxes. What Alex enjoys most about his role is the fact that every day is different. He said “I also enjoy and get a lot of satisfaction once I’ve left a site in a better condition than I found it. I love taking pride in my work.”
Jamie, Water Utilities Apprentice, Northern Ireland Water
Jamie was attracted to work in the water industry because of the essential nature of the work and service they provide for society. His role as a water utilities apprentice allows him to gain experience in both the water and the wastewater operations of Northern Ireland Water, and the theory and practical elements provide a more rounded approach to learning.
Jamie said “Starting my apprenticeship with Northern Ireland Water has opened my eyes in many ways as to what it takes to run a successful water company.” Not only has his knowledge of the industry improved, but he said “I’ve created bonds and friendships with colleagues and trainers, which made the settling in process that much easier.”
Erin, ICA Process Technician Apprentice, Southern Water
Erin followed in her parents’ footsteps in deciding to work at Southern Water. Her dad also started off as an apprentice there at the age of 17, and when he explained to her what an ICA technician was, she instantly knew this was what she wanted to do. Her favourite thing about her role is that no two days are the same, with each day providing an exciting challenge to overcome.
She said “My advice to anyone considering a water apprenticeship would be to just apply. It's an amazing way not only to get valuable experience but also to gain an understanding of what it's like in the workplace.
Daniel, Production Operator (Wastewater) Apprentice, Northumbrian Water
Daniel’s role at Northumbrian Water involves the treatment of wastewater while understanding the impacts that it has on the environment. One of his favourite things about the role is the independence he has been given and level of responsibility he is trusted with to complete tasks. He enjoys his role so much that he is hoping to get a full-time contract within the current team he works in.
Daniel’s apprenticeship has made him create goals both within his career but also outside of work, such as aiming to own his own home. He said “My advice to anyone considering a water apprenticeship would be to give it a try. There’s a lot to learn about water and the treatment before and after we use it.”
Ella, Learning and Development Practitioner Apprentice, Thames Water
Ella’s apprenticeship role was attractive to her because of how vital learning and development is for all organisations, and she knew that the skills and knowledge taught as part of the programme would be applicable to a range of roles. Her day-to-day job involves completing the administration and coordination tasks for the many apprentices and graduates at Thames Water, including coordinating events, inductions, and various communications.
Ella said “My apprenticeship has made a huge impact on my development as it has taught me many new skills. It has also enabled me to build my confidence, which has grown massively since the beginning of my programme.”
Euan, Field Service Engineer Apprentice, United Utilities
Euan always found engineering to be an interesting field, and wanted to find a way to gain qualifications in this area. He has been impressed by how good the apprenticeship trainers, training facilities and work environment is, and enjoys the fact that there are different tasks each day to keep it interesting and develop new skills.
He said “Being on-site or at the training centre helps with learning about the site tips and tricks as it gives real practical experience of a working environment. It also teaches you about working with contractors which is not something you learn at school.”