The paper aims to relate how power‐supply company National Grid, formerly known as Transco, trained and assessed more than 2,430 engineers throughout England, Scotland and Wales within five months – while maintaining high standards of service to customers.
The paper draws on information from Transco's performance and technology manager, provided in a submission to the National Training Awards.
The paper describes how engineers working for Transco are required by the UK Health and Safety Executive to be assessed every five years through the national Accredited Certification Scheme (ACS), and they have to be registered with the Confederation of Registered Gas Installers (CORGI). They also need an additional level of competence to deal with emergencies. Transco's solution was to develop an outstanding level NVQ level three qualification for its existing engineers, and the new recruits it needed as 40 percent of them are over 45 years of age. Agreement on the new NVQ was reached after 12 months of negotiations involving Transco, the GMB union, EU Skills, HSE, CORGI, Advantica Training Services, City & Guilds and the Learning Skills Council.
The engineers can now fit and maintain the full range of gas meters – without calling in specialists; customer service has become a key competence; and 128 enthusiastic young people have achieved their Advanced Modern Apprenticeship, 15 of whom had no GCSEs when they started.
Transco could have taken the straightforward option and completed the established ACS route to qualification, but at a significant cost each year. To revolutionize the accepted qualification route took courage and determination from numerous stakeholders.
(2006), "Transco training puts success in the pipeline: Meeting tough challenge brings outstanding rewards", Human Resource Management International Digest, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 19-22. https://doi.org/10.1108/09670730610643936Download as .RIS
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