Apprentices required for NIE’s ‘Class of 2011’

Northern Ireland Electricity (NIE) today launches its biggest apprentice recruitment campaign to date.

NIE, the owner of the electricity network in Northern Ireland, recruited 20 apprentices in 2010 and hopes to recruit twice that number for September’s intake.

The company has been training apprentices for over 40 years and has a history of providing jobs on the successful completion of apprentice training. Government targets for renewable energy and an extensive programme of network refurbishment over the coming decade requires NIE to increase its numbers of skilled engineers, craftspersons and technicians.

Con Feeney, Director of Operations at NIE, says, “The nature of the work that NIE carries out on the electricity network is unique, highly specialised and challenging. We firmly believe that one of the best ways to develop highly skilled, motivated and enthusiastic future employees is through our targeted and focused apprentice programme. We pride ourselves in the fact that that we create jobs with real opportunities for all apprentices after successful completion of the programme.”

The programme is welcoming applicants from the age of 16 with a minimum of 4 GCSE passes at Grade C (including Maths and English Language) or equivalent. Con Feeney, Director of Operations at Northern Ireland Electricity continues, “Apprenticeships have changed significantly over the years and are suitable for anyone who has a desire to work in the electricity industry. We actively encourage males and females to apply irrespective of their age.”

NIE’s three-year apprenticeship is delivered by experienced instructors who have been selected as role model former apprentices. These skilled craftsmen pass on their practical know-how in controlled NIE training centre environments based in Campsie, Ballymena and Craigavon. As the apprenticeship progresses ‘on-the-job’ training becomes increasingly important. Apprentices are placed within productive work teams on site in order to maximise their skills and knowledge and prepare them for their future job roles within the sector.

Typical NIE apprenticeships include overhead lines work, jointing (working with underground power cables), electrical plant maintenance and tree surgery. In parallel with the practical training, apprentices will also study for a BTEC National Certificate in Electrical Engineering and a QCF diploma in Electrical Power Engineering.

Gordon Parkes, HR Director said, “The NIE apprentice programme provides ambitious trainees with the skills and qualifications to develop their careers within the energy sector. Many of our existing senior managers joined NIE through the apprenticeship scheme so it provides apprentices with a tremendous platform from which to launch their careers.”

If you would like to find out more about apprenticeships at NIE, visit

For an application pack, visit, call 028 9068 9255 or email stating your full name, address (including postcode) and a contact telephone number.