Innogy: a role model for training budding engineers

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Article publication date: 1 October 2004



(2004), "Innogy: a role model for training budding engineers", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 36 No. 6.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Innogy: a role model for training budding engineers

Innogy: a role model for training budding engineers

Innogy, one of the largest suppliers of electricity and gas to the UK's wholesale energy market, has been awarded an “outstanding” grade by the Government's Adult Learning Inspectorate (ALI) for its training of engineering apprentices.

Innogy, part of the RWE group, was awarded the highest grade 1 – achieved by only a handful of organizations across the country – for its approach to engineering, technology and manufacturing in its delivery of work-based learning to adults in the area.

The ALI also awarded Innogy a double grade 2 “good” for the leadership and management of the company and for its approach to quality assurance.

Leigh Powell, one of 55 advanced modern apprentices working towards a national vocational qualification (NVQ) in performing engineering operations, described the overall course as “extremely interesting” and said the quality of mentoring, together with practical experience, had played an enormous role in his achievements.

James Hough, who is in his first year of the four-year course, said: “Since I began, I have learnt different skills and developed them as I have gone on. The tutors also help towards this because they guide me with my learning and treat everyone equally and with great respect”.

Classmate Ben Keeble said that he was enjoying the course because of its well-balanced theoretical and practical content. “I have learnt new skills and feel I have developed as a person”, he said.

Of the 55 learners, all of whom receive on-the-job training, 36 are employed by Innogy and the remainder are employed by other power generators. Most learners also complete a higher national certificate in either electrical or mechanical engineering. Some go on to study for a higher national diploma.

Mark Tippett, in charge of Innogy's learning and development team, said: “We are proud of the quality of the apprentice training provided, and we are delighted to receive recognition of this from the Adult Learning Inspectorate. The scores awarded reflect the efforts of a team which is 100 per cent committed to providing technical training in a thorough and professional way”.

David Sherlock, Chief Inspector of adult learning, said: “The aim of inspection is to make an independent assessment with the long-term goal of raising standards throughout the adult- learning sector. It is wonderful to be able to report that Innogy learners are benefiting from the organization's high-quality approach. When people improve their skills and achieve their qualifications they benefit their organization, their communities and themselves”.

The ALI also awarded JTL, the largest training provider for electrical installation and plumbing in England and Wales, four “good” grades for its high-quality training.

Inspectors praised JTL's specialist construction programme and its approach to leadership and management, equality of opportunity and quality assurance, allocating a grade 2 for each. The company, which operates in 12 areas across England and Wales, has a total of 7,861 advanced apprentices of whom 7,287 follow an electro- technical programme and the remainder are apprentice plumbers.

Set-up in 1990, JTL works with 114 colleges to provide off-the-job training.

Chris Norris, a first-year plumbing apprentice at Kitchen Doctor, Middlesborough, said: “Before starting my course I had heard that an apprenticeship is the best available training – and now I know it is. The quality of the course material is very high and my training officer is always really helpful”.

JTL, which recently opened a training centre in Malton, North Yorkshire, has another training centre in Woolwich, London, where learners take their practical examination in electrical- installation testing and post-apprenticeship training. It also runs a number of pilot initiatives to help to meet industry demands.

Stephanie Chambers, a 29-year-old trainee with Sheffield-based ShockWaves, JTL's fast-track work-based training course for women aged 24 and over, said: “The training programme has provided me with a great opportunity to set myself up in a career for life, while also achieving a nationally recognized qualification. I am delighted with the support I have received from my training officer and my employer, W Wright Electrical”.

Dave Rogers, JTL Chief Executive, said: “We are the first training provider with more than 1,000 apprentices to be awarded grade two across all areas of our business and hope our customers are reassured that their apprentices are trained to the highest possible standard. At a time when the standards of work-based learning are coming under a great deal of scrutiny, JTL is being hailed as among the best training providers available. This can only mean good things for the future provision of training to the plumbing and electrical industries”.

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