“My apprenticeship journey so far at ESB Networks has been hugely rewarding and I would encourage anyone looking for a great career where they can make a difference to consider an apprenticeship for an exciting and rewarding training experience” Joseph O’Sullivan, a current ESB Networks apprentice.
In 2015, ESB Networks announced a five-year plan to recruit new apprentices as part of a large-scale recruitment and development programme. Since then, over 300 apprentices have been recruited, with 72 new recruits; 12 female and 60 males starting in our Networks Training Centre in September of 2018. We will be recruiting up to 70 apprentices across the country again in 2019.
The 2018 ESB Networks Apprenticeship Programme recruitment campaign received 6,400 applications, and this was again surpassed in 2019 with 6800 applicants received, highlighting the level of interest in the programme and a career that is diverse and challenging.
On site and in the classroom
As an Apprentice Network Technician (Electrician), recruits receive on the job training, working as part of front-line teams, as well as classroom-based learning. Apprentices benefit from varied work experience, working indoors and outdoors, and learning about technology, customer service, and delivering results under pressure. They learn a variety of electrical and practical skills and, upon completion of the programme obtain a QQI Advanced Level 6 Electrical Trade Certificate.
The ESB Networks Electrical Apprenticeship is SOLAS standards-based, consisting of 208 weeks over four years. During this time, there are seven SOLAS phases and ESB Networks off job training, including phases 1, 3, 5 and 7 are on the job, working closely with a qualified Network Technician on varied sites across ESB Networks. The SOLAS phases 2, 4 and 6 consist of off the job training modules, with phases in a SOLAS Training Centre and one of the IT Colleges around the country. Finally, there are 24 weeks of ESB Networks off the job training which takes place in the ESB Networks Training Centre, Portlaoise.
Having completed the four-year programme, apprentices will have gained experience working with a leading utility company. ESB Networks serves 2.3 million customers in Ireland, providing a safe and reliable electricity supply to homes, businesses and communities throughout the country – ESB Networks apprentices play an important part in delivering this service. Customer service is at the heart of ESB Networks, through their experience, ESB Networks apprentices will be at the fore in delivering and providing services to our customers.
Both physical and logical activity
Though the job requires an element of physicality, there is much more to the programme than climbing poles and heavy lifting, the role combines both physical and logical activity.
True to the fact that no two days are the same in the programme, apprentices will be assisting and dealing with a wide range of customer’s needs. In their day to day work activities they can be responding to faults and fault finding to maintain customer supply, connecting new customers, both residential and commercial to the electricity network, replacing and maintaining electrical assets and installing new elements to the electricity network like overhead wires and unground cable technologies.
A critical part of the ESB Networks Apprenticeship Programme is the training and peer support given to the apprentices. Throughout the programme, apprentices work alongside and closely with experienced Network Technicians. While the job may be challenging, the apprentice is always part of a team who will be there to assist and support throughout the programme. ESB Networks greatly fosters and encourages the idea of creating a team and peer support network.
For those, who are interested in becoming an ESB Networks Apprenticeship, the programme will open to applicants in the spring of 2020, which will see a further 70 apprentice opportunities available.
The programme is open to individuals over 16 years of age on 1st June 2020. Closing date for applications is 25th March 2020. At the time of application, candidates must have obtained the following minimum educational qualifications:
Junior Certificate (Ordinary Level): Grade C or higher at Ordinary Level (or Grade D or higher at Higher Level) in the Junior Certificate (or equivalent) in the following subjects: 1) Irish or English 2) Mathematics 3) Science* 4) Any 2 other subjects
* If you have not obtained the required grade in Science, Grade C or higher at Ordinary Level in any one of the following subjects is acceptable: Technology, Art Craft and Design, Technical Graphics, Materials Technology (Wood), Home Economics or Metalwork.
Leaving Certificate: Grade D / O6 or higher at Ordinary Level in the Leaving Certificate (or equivalent) in the following subjects: 1) Irish or English 2) Mathematics 3) Science Subject (Agricultural Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Physics & Chemistry) 4) Any 2 other subjects
*If you have not obtained the required grade in any of the above Science subjects, the following is acceptable at Leaving Certificate Level (Grade D/O6 or higher at Ordinary Level) : Art, Construction Studies, Design and Communication, Graphics, Engineering, Home Economics, Technical Drawing and Technology.
For further information on the ESB Networks Apprentice programme and entry requirements, visit www.esbnetworks.ie/careers.
You can also follow us on Twitter @ESBNetworks and Facebook at facebook.com/esbnetworks, here you’ll find updates on the ESB Networks Apprentice programme and share stories of our current ESB Networks Apprentices.