For young people looking to kick-start their career in the engineering world, RWE UK’s graduate, apprenticeship and training schemes provide a variety of excellent platforms. The Power Technician Training Scheme
, in particular, is a great way for school leavers to gain a grounding in the industry and prepare for future success at RWE and beyond.
So what’s it like to take part in PTP? Current participant Tim Tottles talks us through it.
What is the Power Technician Training Scheme?
The scheme, also known as PTP, is a programme accredited by the Institution of Engineering and Technology. It blends academic study with practical skills, with mentoring and support provided to help participants graduate to technician status. It differs from the apprenticeship programme
, says Tim, as the apprenticeship is more focused on craftspeople working on tools, whereas technicians work in the office.
During the programme, you experience technician work across four different areas - operations, control and instrumentation, mechanical, and electrical. You provide support and maintenance to help teams operate efficiently and effectively. After the first two years trying out the different areas, you then select your specialism and focus the next two years of the programme based at a power station working towards your specific area of business.
What are the essential tasks of a Power Technician?
“As an operator your main objective is to make sure the plant is running correctly. We have tasks that need to be done while we’re working, such as making sure that any site problems are dealt with,” says Tim.
“Essentially, your main job is to make sure people are working safely and the plant is running correctly.”
Tim is currently in his second year of the programme and has decided to go down the operations route of specialisation for the remaining two years. He selected this area after speaking with his manager and deciding this was most suited to his skillset and his lifestyle - the operations area involves rotational shift work which means longer periods of time off than the standard 9-5 working week.
Why should you apply for RWE UK’s PTP scheme?
There are myriad advantages to RWE UK’s Power Technician Programme. Along with completing a variety of qualifications, such as the Higher National Certificate in Engineering Operations and potentially a Higher National Diploma, you also get practical, on-the-job training to help accelerate your development.
For Tim, who always wanted to be an engineer, the decision on what to do after school wasn’t easy. He tossed up between studying engineering at university and various apprenticeships, before settling on the power industry as his desired area to move into. He looked at npower and RWE UK’s programmes and decided the PTP was a perfect fit, interviewing and being accepted at Little Barford in Cambridgeshire. He has training at other locations, giving him an overarching view of how the industry works and allowing him the chance to experience different locations. All of this has been supported by RWE, who endeavour to make it as easy as possible for those on the programme to take part.
“RWE UK are absolutely amazing at helping people settle into the programme and feel comfortable in the work. They help out with travel and accommodation, and provide an enormous amount of training and development, making it a really great opportunity for anyone wanting to move into engineering,” says Tim.
What happens after the programme?
“At the end of this four-year programme, I’d be hoping to get a job within Operations at RWE,” says Tim. “The training that they supply to you is amazing - I would never have thought an apprenticeship or similar programme would have this much in-depth training.”
The PTP provides recognised engineering qualification and hands-on experience to deliver a thorough training programme. It aims to fast-track school leavers through to becoming fully-fledged technicians within the engineering industry, without the financial costs that typically come with a similar level of training at university.
What is it like to work at Little Barford?
“Little Barford has a real family feel – with fewer than 50 employees, I knew everyone’s names within the first week,” says Tim.
“If I ever wanted any help at all I could go to any employee and they’d be more than happy to talk me through it. If I was on a bigger site I imagine it would be harder to approach people like this and seek out assistance, but here it’s incredibly easy to communicate with everyone”.
The final word
“RWE is one of the best companies I would ever think about working for. I’ve worked here for over a year and never felt so welcomed in my entire life. From the salary and the work to the people here, it’s all fantastic,” says Tim.
If you want to follow in his footsteps and get started at Little Barford, apply here