Careers

Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships

The apprentice development programme is an opportunity for the business to develop skills and knowledge for the future and to bring in fresh perspectives and ideas, at the same time enabling 12 people to earn as they learn their trade and gain a recognised Level 3 qualification (equivalent to a BTEC) or a Level 4 qualification as an Apprentice Process Technician.

For all of these roles, candidates will need to have a good level of academic qualification, for the Apprentice Process Technician we need A’ level Science at grade C or above, for all of the other roles we will need 5 GCSEs grade C or above including Higher Maths and English. We are unable to accept applications from candidates who have already been funded for a Level 3 or higher qualification due to significant cost implications.

We will be looking for candidates with practical and technical aptitude. Equally importantly we will be looking for people whose attitudes and behaviours are in line with our Values. We need people who will always aim to exceed the expectations of their internal and external customers, who will take responsibility for achieving excellent results, will be open and honest and meet their commitments with a responsible approach to the environment and our communities and will consistently co-operate and work with others to achieve objectives.

Apprentice Distribution Technicians

Based in Northumberland.

The Northumbrian Water Distribution team deliver an excellent field based service 24 hours per day, 365 days per year to domestic and commercial customers in Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, County Durham and Teesside. They operate and maintain the drinking water network from water treatment works to the customer’s tap including assets such as pipes, service reservoirs, valves and meters. They ensure the delivery of sufficient volume and pressure of good quality drinking water; manage thousands of excavations in roads, footpaths and driveways across rural and city areas and ensure Water Regulations are consistently applied. The Distribution team come into face-to-face and telephone contact with many of our customers daily in the highway and resolving queries and problems. We are one of the most visible teams in the business to customers.

What will the apprenticeship involve?

• Using your interest in how things work to learn about the water network, different pipes, how they react in different weather and geological conditions, the impact of opening and closing valves on other areas of the network, water pressure, how water is moved around the network to ensure customers’ supplies remain constant during routine or emergency maintenance.
• You’ll get involved with dealing with emergencies e.g. burst water mains, see the impact they have on the network and how challenging it can be to keep the water flowing for customers.
• The water industry is highly regulated, you will find out about the targets and measures that we have to work to and the consequences if we are unable to achieve them. Regulation covers everything from how quickly and effectively we deal with a customer query to the quality of the water. As we intend to be the leading water and wastewater company, we always aim to exceed our targets and our customers’ expectations.
• You will also gather, interpret and learn to make decisions based on analytical data.
• Right from the start you will be field based and travel all of Northumberland and Tyneside [subject to your base location], initially working with other members of the team, but by the latter part of your apprenticeship we’ll expect you to be working autonomously, with support.
• You will need to work outside in all weathers, and some degree of physical effort will be required.
• You will use your good written and verbal communication skills on a daily basis preparing reports and investigating issues or providing guidance and support.
• You will be part of the team, working together to ensure that our customers receive high quality water and service 24 hours each day, 365 days of the year. Once you are trained you will take part in the 24 hour standby rota on a regular basis.

What will I learn?

There will be two distinct elements to your training:
On-the-job:
During your apprenticeship you will work with different teams within the Distribution department to learn first hand what they do and how all the teams need to work together and with other departments to ensure that we provide a great service to our customers every day. You’ll spend time working as a Distribution Maintenance Operative (laying and repairing pipes), work with the Trunk Mains team, spend time with Water Quality Sampling, Network Planning and Performance, Investment Delivery (responsible for co-ordinating big projects) and the customer frontline teams. Learn about water production and boreholes [Northumberland area only] with the Water Production and Wastewater teams as well as working with Distribution Technicians to learn about the role.
• You’ll learn to work outside whatever the weather and to be part of a team really committed to making sure our customers can turn on the tap at any time of the day and night to access high quality water.
• You will learn about water regulations, public health safety and why it is essential to take pride in doing things correctly.
• You will gain a detailed understanding of how the water network works day-to-day to enable you to work with customers to resolve their problems and queries.
• You will demonstrate that you are a safe and responsible driver and learn to drive mobile plant and equipment such as excavators.
• You will learn to work with breathing apparatus in confined spaces and how to work safely in the highway.
• You will learn to do thorough risk assessments, will be given appropriate personal protective equipment, health & safety skills and we will check that your health is not being affected by your work on a regular basis.
• You will learn how to use company systems and processes including telemetry and the hand held devices used to receive and record jobs. To analyse data and to maintain accurate records.
Secondly, you will complete a Level 3 Water Engineering apprenticeship, this will involve classroom learning and assessment in the workplace. You will need to travel and stay away from home for a few days at a time to undertake your studying.

What will I become?

The role of a distribution technician is very autonomous, you will spend most of your time out on the road, in a company van representing the company, meeting with customers and with the distribution maintenance teams to resolve problems and issues in a proactive way with a ‘can do’ approach. You will undertake investigations in the field, talking to colleagues and customers and analysing data from company systems to resolve problems and to support work to optimise the efficiency of the network.

You will also regularly liaise with the Network Controllers and with the water treatment works, as well as getting involved in projects to replace or upgrade assets. You’ll take part in a 24 hour standby rota on a regular basis, which will mean that you could be called out to deal with an emergency at any time outside working hours.

This position has now closed.

Apprentice Craft Technicians - Electrical and Mechanical

Electrical – based in Northumberland, Tyne/Central & Tees

Mechanical – based in Northumberland & Tees area

The Northumbrian Water Maintenance team ensure our water and wastewater assets are maintained to keep key equipment working and ensure that our customers can turn on the tap and flush the toilet any time of the day or night. The team provide a 24 hour service, 7 days each week and 365 days a year.

The department has 2 key areas of responsibility:
i) Electrical, Mechanical and Instrumentation (EMI) maintenance of assets above the ground eg pumping stations, water and waste water treatment works etc
ii) Buildings and grounds maintenance on operational sites.

The team are responsible for the delivery of planned maintenance and for responding to breakdowns. The electrical, mechanical and instrument craftspeople or technicians work very closely with the other operational departments responsible for the treatment of water and wastewater and for ensuring that high quality water is delivered to customers’ taps and that their wastewater is taken away safely. The team maintain equipment on water treatment works, water pumping and booster stations, sewage treatment works, sewage pumping stations and reservoirs. All of which may include telemetry systems and other associated equipment.
In addition the team are involved in some larger scale projects to renew and replace equipment, to save the company having to employ contractors to do the work.

What will the apprenticeship involve?

The apprenticeship is tailored to NWL’s requirements and is made up of three elements:
i) Technical, classroom based learning to NQF Level 3 (equivalent to A levels)
ii) Competence assessment in the workplace of skills that you learn, this will also be to a Level 3
iii) On the job learning covering NWL policies, procedures and equipment etc.

• You’ll use your interest in how things work to learn.

• The first two years you’ll spend the majority of your time at the TTE Technical Training Company’s training centre based in Middlesbrough. TTE will provide managed flats for any apprentices whose daily commute would be unreasonable. Apprentices who have lived and studied in Middlesbrough in this way in previous years have built up a strong team spirit, have supported each other with the learning and played an active part in setting up sporting and social activities for the training centre.

• Whilst you are with TTE, your individual learning plan will be developed. You will be given a good grounding in health & safety and general skills for work, will learn trade specific practical skills and complete a Performing Engineering Operations qualification.

• To understand how your learning is applied in practice, we’ll organise periods of time in the workplace and you’ll spend time with the craftspeople and technicians as they do their jobs.

• When you’ve finished the second academic year, you will start to learn the job by working with members of the maintenance team, initially taking on straightforward tasks to practice the skills you’ve learned at TTE and to continue to learn.

• As you become more skilled and experienced you will become increasingly involved in hands-on engineering, so that you are ready to take responsibility for dealing with planned maintenance and fixing breakdowns on your own (with support) by the end of the apprenticeship.

• There is a lot to learn, we use many different types of pumps and other equipment, some of which is in isolated locations that you’ll also learn to find.

• You’ll develop a good understanding of the different processes used at treatment works to clean water or treat wastewater and will need to become very familiar with each of the assets in your area so that you can quickly find solutions to problems when things go wrong.

• You’ll need to learn to work effectively under pressure. The water industry is highly regulated, you will find out about the targets and measures that we have to work to and the consequences if we are unable to achieve them. Regulation covers everything from how quickly and effectively we deal with a problem that will impact on the water supply to the quality of the water. As we intend to be the leading water and wastewater company, we always aim to exceed our targets and our customers’ expectations.

• Prioritising work and juggling priorities is a skill you’ll develop, the Maintenance team support many assets and several teams who may all have problems at the same time.

• You’ll use your strong communication and team working skills to build up productive working relationships with your internal customers and your colleagues and to discuss technical process issues.

• You will also gather, interpret and learn to make decisions based on analytical data.

• Working outside in all weathers is fundamental to the job, and some degree of physical effort will be required.

• You will be part of the team, working together to ensure that our customers receive high quality water 24 hours each day, 365 days of the year. Once you are trained you will take part in a 24 hour standby rota on a regular basis.

What else will I learn?

• You’ll learn to work outside whatever the weather and to be part of a team really committed to making sure our customers can turn on the tap at any time of the day and night to access high quality water and flush away any waste.
• You will learn about water regulations, public health safety and why it is essential to take pride in doing things correctly.
• You will demonstrate that you are a safe and responsible driver, if you have not already passed your driving test we will support you to do so. You will drive company vehicles.
• You will learn to work with breathing apparatus in confined spaces.
• You will learn to do thorough risk assessments, will be given appropriate personal protective equipment, health & safety skills and we will check that your health is not being affected by your work on a regular basis.
• You will learn how to use company systems and processes and hand held electronic devices (PDAs) used to receive and record jobs. Also to analyse data and to maintain accurate records.

What will I become?

If you successfully complete the apprenticeship you will be offered a permanent position. The role of a craft technician is very autonomous, you will spend most of your time out on the road, in a company van representing the company, meeting with your internal customers to prevent and identify solutions to problems and issues in a proactive way with a ‘can do’ approach.

You will undertake investigations and come up with practical and cost effective options, talking to colleagues and suppliers and analysing data from company systems to resolve problems and to support work to optimise the efficiency of the network. You’ll take part in a 24 hour rota on a regular basis, which will mean that you could be called out to deal with an emergency at any time outside working hours.

This position has now closed.

Apprentice Project Management (Civil Engineering) Technician

Based in Durham.

Northumbrian Water Limited owns many assets to enable the treatment and distribution of water and wastewater eg 25,213km of water mains, 683 sewage pumping stations, 64 water treatment works etc. The Apprentice Project Management Technician will join the Investment Delivery team who support project teams to deliver investment projects to upgrade or replace the company’s key assets so that they remain fit for purpose and run efficiently.

Investment Delivery, ensure projects are delivered to the appropriate quality standards, manage the operational interfaces of construction activities, lead all commissioning activities, ensure all project documentation is produced and maintain and develop engineering standards. Within Investment Delivery, different teams focus on different stages or types of project. You will be part of the Investment Unit (Networks) team and learn about Civil Engineering design for the maintenance and upgrading of the sewerage network (pipes).

What will the apprenticeship involve?

• You will learn to take a methodical, analytical approach to problem solving to help resolve issues as they arise.
• You will also gather, interpret and learn to make decisions based on analytical data.
• The role will be office based, but you will also be involved in field based work. This will involve the investigation of the Sewer Network, understanding the reasons for the loss of service.
• You will occasionally need to work outside in all weathers, and some degree of physical effort will be required.
• You will use your good written and verbal communication skills on a daily basis preparing reports and investigating issues or providing guidance and support.
• You will be part of the team, working together to ensure that our customers receive high quality sewerage service 24 hours each day, 365 days of the year.
• You may need to travel occasionally to sites around the Northumbrian water operating area.

What will I learn?

There will be two distinct elements to your training:
Firstly, there will be ‘on-the-job’ training. You will:
• Work closely with the current Project Managers and Project Management Technicians and learn how to extract data from NWL’s corporate databases, including Geographical Information Systems.
• Will learn to interpret CCTV data and categorise sewer condition grades.
• Learn to print plans and network data.
• Upload update documents, information and data on a monthly basis onto the extranet
• Learn to deal with enquiries from internal and external customers and organisations.
• Learn to use the extranet to enable you to train other users.
• Learn to prepare information packs and work programmes for internal stakeholders, project managers and NWL contractors.
• Start to build working relationships and understand the roles of internal and external stakeholders eg the Sewerage Operations team, Customer Services and other internal teams and Local Authorities, Consultants and Contractors.
You will have the opportunity to spend time with Investment Delivery’s internal customers to understand the impact of your work and where opportunities arise to spend time to find out about external partner organisations.
Secondly, you will be supported to study to obtain a Level 3 Civil Engineering qualification. You may need to travel to undertake some of your studying.

What you will become:

As a Project Management Technician, you will report to an Investment Delivery Team Leader. You will be involved primarily in the delivery of the Sewer Network Maintenance Programmes identifying defects in the network, determining appropriate solutions, ordering of work and the updating of corporate systems for the Northumbria area. You will undertake investigations for minor network projects following identification of service issues. This will necessitate the use of the theory and range of techniques you have learnt during your training.

You will be expected to report your findings, supported by evidence, and this will likely lead to amendments to the Network. You will therefore be expected to develop good relationships with the sewerage operations personnel and in particular the sewerage maintenance contractors. You will attend design, construction and framework meetings for projects and sub programmes associated with the Sewerage Network. Through your knowledge gained, both theoretical and practical, and by demonstrating your understanding in the work environment, you will become a highly respected member of the Investment Delivery Team.

This position has now closed.

Related content