UK Power Networks: Jack Routledge

Jack Routledge, 21, is an overhead linesman working with UK Power Networks in Colchester

What are your responsibilities as an apprentice?

I help maintain our network of overhead cables and I’m also a ‘third man standby’, when I shadow a linesman to develop my understanding of the role. There are a lot of projects and new technology which I learn about.

How long have you been at UK Power Networks?

Three years.

Why did the job appeal?

UK Power Networks is a good company and the training scheme is great. We are looked after well and they give us all the training we need. I had other options, but I chose UK Power Networks because I enjoy the nature of my job.

What advice would you give to somebody who is considering a career as an electrical fitter or a career in the power distribution sector?

You have to be committed, but don’t worry that you cannot do the job because of your school grades; you can get on in roles like this. Being good is not just about what is on paper; people have different types of abilities. When we did the college study, the company was really helpful in giving us time to complete the course.

What do you enjoy the most about your role?

I enjoy the variety; sometimes you’re in the middle of a field in an off-road buggy and other times you’re high up a pole. I do different things every day and go to different places. Luckily my head for heights is all right, but it takes some getting used to and training. I like that there are lots of unexpected learning opportunities.

What can be the most challenging / rewarding element of your role?

The academic side can be pretty challenging and nerve-racking, but there’s lots of support from UK Power Networks. On the job, I come across bits of equipment which I don’t recognise, so that’s when the more experienced guys are very helpful. The most rewarding part is when you do a job exactly like they say in the textbook and the work gets compliments.

Tell us in three words what it’s like to work at UK Power Networks

Opportunities. Rewarding. Fun.

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