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Advanced Apprenticeship Programme

This award-winning programme will turn your interest in practical issues into a long-term career, where you'll constantly learn and develop new skills.

Below is a list of our most frequently asked questions (FAQs) - click on the question to reveal the response. If you are unable to find the information you need please call our Recruitment Team on 0207 061 1939 or email nationalgridcareers@gtisolutions.co.uk

Advice - Completing the application form

 

Provide us with as much information as you can. Think about how your skills and experience relate to the job.  This is your opportunity to sell yourself to the organisation, so take your time in completing the on line application form, be honest with your answers, show a passion for the Industry, Sector and role. Research the organisation and read any information/advice and questions on the website and don’t forget to make reference to it in your answers.  We are interested to hear about what you have achieved and any contributions you have made so be sure to tell us about these.

Qualifications - any qualifications you enter on the application form even if they are not required for the vacancy will be checked thoroughly by our background checking provider if you are successful in receiving an offer from National Grid. If any details are found to be incorrect this could lead to the offer being withdrawn. Attained qualifications will be checked at the Assessment Centre and verified by the Resourcing team and third parties that they are original documents.

This also applies to the education and employment details that are submitted on the application form. If the work experienced you have obtained is through an Employment Agency please ensure you provide us with their name.

 

Supporting documents - we would encourage you to upload any supporting documents on the application system. This could be transcript of exam results, qualification certificates etc.

 

 

 

Advice - Parents and Guardians

Why is the Apprenticeship route seen as an alternative to University? 

The National Grid Advanced Apprenticeship Programme is an excellent route to full time employment, without the debt of going to University, providing an opportunity to earn whilst learning.  Our Apprenticeship is an award-winning programme recognised for excellence and innovation in further education training.

 

How many Advanced Apprenticeship vacancies do you have for 2014? 

National Grid has 70 Apprenticeship vacancies across 6 programmes at various locations, Nationwide.

 

How Long is the Training? 

The duration of the Advanced Apprentice development programme will vary from two and a half years for the Gas Distribution Emergency Response roles, 3 years for the for the Electricity Substation and Overhead Lines roles and the Gas Distribution Pressure, Control and Storage and Electrical and Instrumentation roles and 4 years for the Liquefied Natural Gas roles.

 

What will the Training involve? 

The training is a blend of formal study at our Nottinghamshire training centre (Grain LNG apprentices undertake formal study at IPS College which is local to site) combined with practical application and experience at the Apprentice’s local site.

 

Where will the Training take place? 

Off the job training will take place at our state of the art training facility in Nottinghamshire with on the job experience at local sites.  Off the job training could also take place at our training facilities at Hitchin and Hollinwood. A high proportion of the training will be undertaken at our training facilities.  The Grain LNG Apprentices will undertake both the on and off the job training locally.

 

Where will the Apprentices stay during the off the job training in Nottinghamshire? 

Our Training facility in Nottinghamshire hosts a 100 bedroom lodge.  The safety and security of our trainees is our number one priority and we take our pastoral care and responsibility seriously. Whilst undertaking training away from home and site all overnight stays and meals will be provided.

 

What level of qualifications will be studied during the Apprenticeship? 

At the end of the Apprenticeship Programme, Apprentices will be skilled to professional technician status and have achieved an NVQ Level 3.

 

What is the starting salary for the Advanced Apprenticeship Programme? 

The starting salary is £14,950 per annum increasing to £23715 on completion of the programme.

 

What happens at the end of the programme? 

Following satisfactory completion of the whole programme, appointments to permanent positions will be made.

 

What is the start date for the Apprenticeship Programme 

The 2014 Apprenticeship Programme will commence in September 2014.

On the Sunday before the start date Parents and Guardians will be invited to attend Eakring for a site tour and buffet lunch

 

Is this opportunity suitable for females? 

The Apprenticeship programme is an ideal career path for females providing an opportunity to work in teams out on site at our facilities.

 

Can you provide any information or advice about the recruitment process? 

To find out about each stage of the recruitment process, look at the Advanced Apprenticeship Advice and Questions tab.  We have provided information on what to expect and advice for each stage of the Recruitment process.  

 

Why do you recruit within postcode parameters?

Recruiting people from their local communities is important to National Grid ensuring that Apprentices have a great support network at home as well as away at our Training Centre in Nottinghamshire.  The on the job training and end role will involve working in a specific area and for operational reasons it is crucial that team members live within an acceptable distance from site and can travel to and from site within an acceptable travel time.  We have found the best way of determining an acceptable distance and travel time from site for each vacancy is by using maps to identify the catchment area which is then populated with postcodes.

 

Video Interview

We have introduced an extra stage in our recruitment process called the Video Interview.  This is only for candidates who have applied for the Advanced Apprenticeship Substation roles and will only take place if you have successfully passed the motivational discussion stage.   

The video interview offers you the unique opportunity to bring your communication skills and personality alive in real time. 

You will be able to undertake the video interview using a webcam on your computer or laptop, a tablet or mobile phone at a time that is convenient to you and should take no more than 15 to 20 minutes. 

The interview will involve you being asked up to 3 short questions and you will be able to record your answers.  Instructions will be sent along with a link to the system and there will be on-line help should you require it. 

The videos will be reviewed as they arrive, so don't forget to complete the interview as soon as you can!!  Don't forget that by successfully completing each stage of the recruitment process promptly will mean you are at the front of the pipeline of candidates

 

 

What personal qualities do you look for?

We are looking for those well rounded individuals who have a good balance of academic qualifications along with a real passion and practical interest in engineering or their functional area.  Individuals that value working in teams are committed and conscientious and want to make a difference.  For some they will have taken the initiative to secure early work experience or become involved in social action initiatives in their local communities i.e. volunteering etc.  

 

For our Entry Level Talent Programmes we don’t expect individuals to have developed strong capabilities in these areas but can demonstrate the potential to grow in the future through the activities they have been involved in so far and the training and experienced we will offer.

 

Advice - Time to complete the application form

Time to complete the application - we anticipate that the application process could take you between one and two hours to complete so please make sure to allocate sufficient time and a quiet place to work. You will have the facility to save each page and to return to the application form to complete on separate occasions. However the last stage of the application process when you submit the full application and undertake the first part of the screening will need to be completed in one sitting.

Advice - Email Communication

Email Communication - all communication during the application process will be made via email, please ensure that you enter your email address correctly. Please also be aware of any filters or firewalls that may prevent you from receiving emails, and remember to check your Spam or Junk email folders regularly. National Grid or its agents, subsidiary companies, Alliance Partners and any contracted data processors cannot be held responsible for lost emails. We would advise you to use an email address that you are able to access regularly and do so from the time you apply. Please be aware of our Assessment Events which can be viewed on our website

Advice - Situational Judgement Test

The Situational Judgement Test will present you with various situations you could encounter during your time on the programme.  We are looking for you to identify what is the most effective and what is the least effective response to each situation.

You should spend the same amount of time identifying the least effective response as you would for the most effective response.  Both areas are awarded an equal level of scoring. 

Please make sure you sit the test in one session and that you select a quiet area to do this away from any distractions. 

This test has been developed and validated by individuals who are currently performing well on our development programmes and within their permanent roles.

The questions on the Situational Judgement Test have been designed for the Advanced Apprenticeship Programme and are not relevant for a different career profile any support that you may be given by a friend or family member could seriously impact the final result of this test.

We do not expect you to have any prior knowledge or experience in this kind of role. We are assessing how you judge a situation and whether you can recognise the most effective or least effective reaction to each of the given situations.

There are no trick answers and you can assume that the information in the responses is correct and that you would undertake the activities you suggest.  Each situation should be considered on its own merits; the situations do not link or relate to each other

Advice - Telephone Motivational Discussion

 

The telephone motivational discussion which will include one competency based interview question will take approximately 20 minutes and you should ensure you take the call in a quiet environment, free from any distractions or interruptions.  The purpose of the motivational discussion is to ensure you are fully motivated to join the programme and have a real interest in the end role.  We also need to know that you understand what will be required and the commitment you will need to make during the training and beyond.

 

If you are successful in progressing to the Assessment Centre stage of the recruitment you will be required to undertake a competency based interview as part of the assessment process.  A competency based interview question has therefore been included in this motivational discussion to provide you with the opportunity to experience and understand this type of question should you be invited to attend an assessment centre. The competency that will be covered is Practical Tasks which is an important aspect of the Apprenticeship role.  Remember to give us a true and honest example of your past that will demonstrate your competency for practical tasks.  There is more information available about Competency based interviews under our Advice and Questions – Competency Based Interview.

 

To help you prepare try to fully understand the role you are applying for and increase your knowledge about National Grid.  Think about what really interests you about the programme and what abilities you feel you have for the role.  Try and relax during the discussion and make sure you give as much relevant information as possible.

Advice - Video Interview

Video Interview

We have introduced an extra stage in our recruitment process called the Video Interview.  This is only for candidates who have applied for the Advanced Apprenticeship Substation roles and will only take place if you have successfully passed the motivational discussion stage.  

The video interview offers you the unique opportunity to bring your communication skills and personality alive in real time.

You will be able to undertake the video interview using a webcam on your computer or laptop, a tablet or mobile phone at a time that is convenient to you and should take no more than 15 to 20 minutes.

The interview will involve you being asked up to 3 short questions and you will be able to record your answers.  Instructions will be sent along with a link to the system and there will be on-line help should you require it.

The videos will be reviewed as they arrive, so don't forget to complete the interview as soon as you can!!  Don't forget that by successfully completing each stage of the recruitment process promptly will mean you are at the front of the pipeline of candidates

Advice - How to prepare for an Assessment Centre

Preparation is all-important. Be sure to think about your previous experiences (work, education, extra curricular activities etc.) and what you have learned and gained from each of those.  It's always good to have a variety of examples at hand.  Remember, we are assessing you against the competencies!  It's also essential to do some research into the business - and you can find lots of information about us here on the website.  During the selection process - stay calm, be yourself, don't try to second guess what we are looking for or act out of character otherwise you will only mask your natural strengths and qualities.  Whether it's an interview question or a group exercise, listen to what's being asked of you as this will enable you to demonstrate the skills you have.

Advice - Documents at Assessment Centre

Documents at Assessment Centre - you will be expected to provide originals of your qualifications and right to work in the UK without Company sponsorship documentation at the Assessment Centre.  Please be proactive and ensure that this information is current and available in the event that you are successful in reaching an Assessment Centre.  If the qualifications are not obtained then please provide an original latest summary of results or a covering letter from your Tutor.  Some documentation can take up to 8 weeks to obtain new originals.  Attained qualifications will be checked at the Assessment Centre and verified by the Resourcing team and third parties that they are original documents

Advice - Competency Based Interview

Competency based interviews are interviews where each question is designed to test one or more specific skill or competency.  The questions can be used to assess both behavioural and technical competencies and the skills and competencies tested will vary depending on the requirements of the role.

 

You will be asked questions relating to your behaviour in specific circumstances which you will need to back up with concrete examples.  What we are looking for are true and honest examples from your past where you have dealt with or managed a particular situation.

 

Preparation is key, be sure to think about your previous experiences (work, education, extra curricular activities etc) and what you have learned and gained for each of these areas.  Before the interview find out what competencies are important; for our Apprenticeship Programme we assess against 4 key competencies at Assessment Centre, Relationship Management (Team Working), Organising and Planning, Communication and Problem Solving and Decision Making.  Look back on your own experience and find examples against each competency.  It’s always good to have a variety of examples to hand.  Take a list of keywords into the interview for reference.

 

This type of interview will help us gather evidence to measure your capability in a competence and is designed to find out if you have got the initial qualities we are looking for our Apprenticeship programme.

 

 

Advice - Pre-employment checks

 

In order to provide an offer of employment in writing we will require the following information from you.

•   Your original valid UK Passport or full A4 birth certificate and proof of your National Insurance Number    

•    Your full UK Car Driving licence (both card and paper) if you have one

•    Your original GCSE Certificate(s) and/or equivalents

To speed up the process it is advisable to bring these original documents along to the Assessment Centre for us to verify and check that they are originals.

Once an offer of employment is made you will then be registered for background checking and you will need to complete a medical questionnaire and undertake a drug and alcohol test. 

Verifile our background checking company will then conduct a Criminal Record Check together with a 5 year career, education and address check. 

All information collected by Verifile as part of the background checking process will be compared against your original application form.  It is therefore imperative that all information but particularly the education and employment details are accurate.   If the work experienced you have obtained is through an Employment Agency please ensure you provide us with their name.  Please be aware that if you have entered additional qualifications on the application form that are not relevant to the role, these qualifications will be checked as well and if they are found to be incorrect this could lead to the offer being withdrawn.

All candidates must have successfully completed all of the pre-employment checks prior to physically starting with National Grid.  Once an offer has been made to you we ask that you are very proactive in registering and completing the paperwork

Social Action (Step Up 2 Serve)

'National Grid welcomes the Campaign for youth social action and see this as a win/win for society, young people and businesses like ours. We know from our own experience, that young people who have been involved in volunteering and community projects have greater confidence, communication and problem solving skills - all things we look for in new recruits. We commit to including a question about social action in our application and interview processes and will encourage and support young people to continue volunteering once employed with us, as a valuable way to develop new skills. We encourage other businesses to support this campaign and help build a society where youth social action becomes the norm‘  – Steve Holliday, CEO, National Grid

Youth Unemployment

Steve Holliday Chief Executive for National Grid and Skills and Employment lead for BITC said: “The UK has the fastest growing rate of youth unemployment of all the G8 countries. And many of these young people are unemployed not because they’re lazy or demotivated, but because businesses are inadvertently excluding them from opportunities.

“12 months ago we turned the mirror on ourselves at National Grid and found we weren’t making our jobs accessible to all unemployed people, either because we weren’t advertising at Job Centre Plus or because of the way we were wording our adverts. So we made changes to how we did things.

“With the launch of Generation Talent today, 90 UK businesses have committed to making 25,000 jobs visible to unemployed people, of which they expect 10,000 to be filled by young unemployed people.

“We want more businesses to join us in that pledge. Businesses big and small need to look at getting more involved in Education to ensure our young people know which skills we need, and influence their subject choices at a much younger age.

“We need to look heavily at our recruitment and become involved in initiatives such as Generation Talent to ensure that we’re not excluding people from being able to apply.

“Broadening the diversity of people entering our profession is vital to increasing the skills base and creating more creative, productive engineering teams. And this is why we are proud to support Generation Talent.”

What personal qualities do you look for?

We are looking for those well rounded individuals who have a good balance of academic qualifications along with a real passion and practical interest in engineering or their functional area.  Individuals that value working in teams are committed and conscientious and want to make a difference.  For some they will have taken the initiative to secure early work experience or become involved in social action initiatives in their local communities i.e. volunteering etc. Often social action can be more impressive as it shows true commitment and dedication.

 

 

Start date of the Apprenticeship Programme?

Sucessful candidates will start training in September 2014

Equivalent Qualifications

Equivalent Qualifications outside the UK - if you have studied outside of the UK and believe that you have equivalent qualifications, please can you verify this with NARIC: info@naric.org.uk. Office hours: Monday to Friday 09:00 - 17:00 in advance of submitting your application. Equivalent Qualifications inside the UK - if you have obtained equivalent qualifications in the UK, please verify this with Ofqual (Office of the Qualifications and Examinations Regulator) through their website: http://www.ofqual.gov.uk/qualifications-assessments/89-articles/147-equivalent-qualifications in advance of submitting your application.

What is the selection process?

After meeting our initial programme requirements and successful completion of the Situational Judgement Test, we then go through each submitted application against our set criteria. If you get through this stage, there is a telephone motivational discussion which will explore your motivations for the role. And then, the final step is an Assessment Centre. You will be assessed against our competencies at each stage of your application, so please be prepared

Assessment Centre Dates

Substations

04/05 February 2014  - Pentir, Kirby

18/19 February 2014 - Aberthaw,  Hurst

11/12 March 2014 - Pelham, Didcot

25/26 March 2014 - Taunton,  Capenhurst

29/30 April 2014 - Staythorpe, Landulph

13/14 May 2014 - Bishops Wood, Barking, Didcot, Littlebrook 

03/04 June 2014 - Raleigh, Aberthaw, Brinsworth

OHL

04/05 February 2014 - Barmaley, Northfleet

18/19 Febraury 2014 - Pelham, West Boldon

11/12 March 2014 - Swansea, Bristol

25/26 March 2014 - Bramley, Bushbury

29/30 April 2014 - Norhfleet, Bramley

 

LNG

25/26 March 2014 - Grain

29/30 April 2014 - Grain

 

Gas Distribution Operations - Pressure, Control and Storage

11/12 Febraury 2014 - Greater Manchester, West and East London

04/05 March 2014 - Merseyside

18/19 March 2014 - West Mids South, Leicester

01/02 April 2014 - North West

14/15 April 2014 - Greater Manchester

07/08 May 2014 - Greater Manchester

20/21 May 2014 - West and East London, Blackpool

10/11 June 2014 - West Mids South, Mersey

 

Gas Distribution Operations - Emergency Response

11/12 Febraury 2014 - Manchester, Fulham

04/05 March 2014 - Mersey, Nottingham

18/19 March 2014 - Woodford

01/02 April 2014 - Fulham

14/15 April 2014 - Manchester, Birmingham

07/08 May 2014 - Luton, Romford

20/21 May 2014 - Grimsby, Bushbury

10/11 June 2014 - Manchester, Fulham, Woodford

01/02 July 2014 - Manchester, Fulham/Woodford, Islington, Barnet

 

Gas Distribution Operations - Electrical and Instrumentation

04/05 March 2014 - Nottingham

18/19 March 2014 - Raleigh

01/02 April 2014 - Sheffield, Slough

14/15 April 2014 - West Mids North

20/21 May 2014 - Leicester

10/11 June 2014 - Raleigh

 

 

 

 

 

What happens at an Apprentice Assessment Centre?

Our assessment centres are made up of a competency based interview, a health and safety exercise, a technical test, and a manual dexterity test.  For the substation and overhead lines roles where working at heights is essential a climbing assessment will also be required.  A colour blind assessment will take place to ensure you can distinguish between different colours. This is critical for the electrical based roles. The assessment centres are designed to find out if candidates have the initial qualities National Grid are looking for.

On day 1 of the assessment centre, there will be a welcome presentation followed by some time to get to know other candidates and National Grid staff over dinner.

On day 2, you will complete a competency based interview, a health and safety exercise, a technical test, a colour blind test and a manual dexterity test.  There will be a climbing assessment for Overhead Lines and Substation vacancies.

 

Competencies assessed at Assessment Centre

We assess for the following competencies: 

Relationship Management (Team Working)

Oraganising and Planning

Communication and Problem Solving

Decision Making

Travel expenses paid for attending an Assessment Centre

We are happy to cover your travel expenses to and from the Assessment Centre to a maximum of £100 return trip i.e. standard class rail fare, coach fares, (fuel costs @ 12p per mile) and taxi fares from the nearest railway station i.e. Newark, Mansfield or Nottingham (unless approval has been obtained in writing in advance of the date of travel).  Please provide receipts where appropriate so that we can reimburse you

Dress code at Assessment Centres?

During the first day of the Assessment Centre the dress code is casual, so clothing such as smart jeans, T-shirts or similar.   For the second day you should wear business dress, such as a suit or jacket, or similar.

You will be provided with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the manual dexterity text and the climb for the Substation and Overhead Line roles.

Will National Grid provide me with a Certificate of Sponsorship?

National Grid is unable to provide sponsorship for this role as it does not meet the sponsorship criteria set by the UK Border Agency under the Points Based System. You must have the right to work in the UK without sponsorship to be considered

Do I need to have a UK car driving licence?

Candidates must hold a valid UK car driving licence within twelve months after joining the Advanced Apprenticeship Programme or within twelve months of their 17th birthday whichever is the sooner

Can I apply for the programme again?

If you have applied in previous years, and been unsuccessful, you can apply again although it would be helpful if you could now show some additional experience that would support your case.

National Grid's Core Values

 

Our Core Values define the way in which National Grid expects us to act both as individuals and in teams to deliver our goal of being the world’s premier network utility. National Grid has developed its brand identity within the company’s Framework for Responsible Business.

Approved by the National Grid Executive and underpinned by employee feedback, the brand identity draws together our core values and brand promise. Our brand promise is ‘to carry out all our activities safely, reliably, responsibly and efficiently’. Our Core Values support the brand promise and are set out below.     

Respect others and value their diversity

Take ownership for driving performance

Demonstrate integrity and openness in all relationships

Work as one team, one National Grid

 

 

Do I have to be clean shaven?

This is only required for some roles in Gas Distribution Operations that require the wearing of a breathing apparatus. This is because an effective seal on the breathing apparatus can only be achieved when the skin is clean shaven. We are looking forward to a technical solution becoming available that would effectively remove the safety issue and, thus, allow us to remove this requirement.

Diversity Monitoring

National Grid and its subsidiaries, is committed to providing equality of opportunity for all. In compliance with Company policy and to enable us to effectively monitor our recruitment practices; we need to gather the following information in respect to gender, ethnic minority, nationality, sexual orientation and disability.

 

When you submit your completed form, this diversity information will be saved separately from your main application. It will not be used in any way as part of the selection process.  This information is voluntary, if you do not wish to answer a question please choose “I prefer not to state”

 

Employee Resource Groups

We value and respect the strengths and differences among our employees, customers and communities. As a way of fostering inclusion and diversity at National Grid, we have a number of employee resource groups.

 

 

These groups are established to provide a mutually beneficial relationship for our company and our employees. They contribute to an inclusive environment by providing opportunities for employees to network with each other, senior management, to attain career building skills, and to provide a better understanding of our company and our business.