Ellie Turner, 20
Dual Fuel Smart Metering Apprenticeship
Where do you live / where did you grow up?
New Cross, South East London
What's your job title?
Smart Metering Engineer
Education and qualifications, including any special achievements either academically or at work: GCSEs: English, Maths, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Drama, History, Law, ICT, Spanish, Religious Education. I have also now completed my apprenticeship and have gained my smart metering qualifications.
Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship?
Before applying for an apprenticeship with EDF Energy, I already knew a lot about the energy industry as my Dad and Sister are both gas engineers. They both really enjoy their jobs and I’m quite similar to them and have always preferred doing practical things. I’d heard good things from people who work for EDF Energy, so when I saw the advert for the apprenticeship scheme on Facebook, I read up on what the company offers its apprentices and knew it was just the sort of thing I was looking for. I wanted the opportunity to have hands-on training while also gaining qualifications and with the EDF Energy scheme I am studying towards a City & Guilds qualification in Dual Fuel Smart Metering.
What advice would you give a young person who was considering an apprenticeship?
Apprenticeships are definitely the right way to go. I feel so well looked after and everyone makes sure that I know what I’m doing at all times. It’s made me feel much more confident.
Brief description of your role in layman’s terms e.g. how would you describe your role to someone completely unfamiliar with the industry?
On a day to day basis I install smart electric and gas meters in customers’ homes, replacing meters which are old and close to the end of their useful life. Smart meters help customers understand their energy use, which can help them use energy more efficiently and save money on their energy bills. I come across a wide range of existing meter installations and ensure I abide by strict safety procedures when testing and installing meters.
What does an average day look like for you, now you are a qualified Smart Meter Engineer?
Every morning I will get jobs sent to my hand held mobile device, which is a small tablet connected to EDF Energy’s scheduling system and these requests will feed through to me during the day. I will be at my first morning job at 8:00. Before I go to any job I make my ‘on my way call’ and ask the customer any questions I may need to know before I arrive at the property. After completion I will repeat this for every job. As I am now an inspector, I may also receive requests for site work. This means installing brand new meters on a building site. I had to pass a further competency based exam to be able to do this, as there are many other issues that you may come across on this type of site. I am allocated 30 minutes for lunch and then afternoon jobs will be sent through to my hand held device. I finish my day at about 4:30 and if I finish my jobs earlier I use this time to stock up my van with equipment that I may need for the next day.
What’s the best thing about being an apprentice?
I would highly recommend the Smart Metering Apprenticeship scheme. I enjoyed spending time with colleagues and the training staff were always there to help support us along the way.