Two apprentices from our Eaking Training Academy are going head to head at the Target Job National Graduate Recruitment Awards tonight.
National Grid’s Academy has also been short-listed for awards to recognise their excellent development programmes.
The standard of the National Grid submissions were so high that the judges short-listed two of our current trainees for the Apprentice of the Year award at the annual event.
Emergency Response Apprentice Rhys Phillips and Mechanical Apprentice Josh Powell are both in the running after impressing the judges not just with their hard work and enthusiasm but also their commitment to community action.
One of National Grid’s current graduates Nicola Todd has also been short-listed for a Rising Star award after using her skills to solve problems that ‘would have challenged a highly experienced engineer’. For someone straight out of university, she has really impressed in her time with the company.
As well as the personal awards, National Grid’s Academy has also been shortlisted for awards to recognise its excellent development programmes. The Engineer Training Programme (ETP) is nominated for the Best School-Leaver Programme, the Student Internship programme is short-listed in the Best Undergraduate/Vacation Programme and it has also scooped a place in the Best Apprenticeship Programme category.
On top of that, National Grid is also up for Diversity Recruitment Award and Best Advancement of Social Mobility in Graduate Recruitment.
Josh was just 16 when he joined the apprenticeship scheme. Despite finding being away from home at such a young age challenging, he has thrown himself into his new life as an apprentice to such an extent that the programme manager described him as having “an aptitude and attitude above what I have seen in my 12 years as a programme manager”.
Despite being the youngest in his group he is a leader. He’s stayed late and worked weekends to support his colleague and gain as much information as possible about his new role. He has also arranged visits to other National Grid sites in order to learn as much as he can about the business. When Josh heard that an elderly lady in Eakring village had had her lawnmower stolen, he arranged for himself and other apprentices to mow her lawns until she was able to find a replacement.
Rhys chose his apprenticeship over taking a university placement and has already expressed a desire to become one of the company’s future leaders by studying for a management degree. His commitment to his work and impact on colleagues has been incredible since joining in 2013. His mentor even cancelled a holiday abroad to support Rhys during a critical part of his training.
He has worked with the new apprentice intake to help them settle into Eakring and has spent time raising money for charity. The best measure of Rhys’s impact are the letters and positive feedback National Grid has received from members of the public who he has interacted with. They have described him as efficient, excellent, polite, professional committed.
Nicola has done nothing but impress since she joined the National Grid Graduate Scheme. She’s volunteered to lead on work that even the most experienced engineers would find challenging and has helped makes changes to the business that have had lasting positive impacts on performance and safety.
She’s achieved ‘champion’ level status on two very different placements which is described as an ‘extraordinary achievement’. She’s also thrown herself into fundraising, visiting schools to raise awareness of STEM careers among girls and young women.