A UTILITIES training provider is looking to make use of a £33 million Government investment as it celebrates ten years of working with gas apprentices in York.

Develop Training, based in Tollerton Road, Huby, is looking to capitalise on the new Employer Ownership of Skills scheme which was launched this week with £33 million of Government funding.

The programme is working to create and support 70,000 learning opportunities in the energy and utilities industry.

As Develop bids to offer the training, the company is marking the tenth anniversary of its Gas Networks Apprenticeship programme, which has now trained more than 2,000 gas network trainees.

John Kerr, business director of the Utilities Division at Develop Training said: “We are delighted to celebrate our 10th year of providing utility apprenticeships and we are proud of our record of achieving 95 per cent retention and achievement rates for our delegates.

“The Employer Ownership of Skills scheme is a great opportunity for employers to plan and implement bespoke training programmes for both apprentices and other staff. This will give the utilities sector renewed optimism and a much need boost to secure the future of the utilities workforce.”

Develop Training has worked with a number of utilities companies across the UK including Scotia Gas Networks, Northern Gas Networks, Balfour Beatty and National Grid.

Glynn Barber, technical academy manager at National Grid said: “Apprenticeships are a key means of delivering a skilled, dynamic workforce and giving young people futures and careers they can be proud of.

"More than this however, apprenticeships help us develop the skills needed to operate our vital national assets to the highest standards.

"Develop Training has been a key partner in helping us develop and deliver our incredibly successful training and apprenticeship programmes.”

In its ten years of providing utility apprenticeships, Develop Training has trained both gas and water engineers who have attended over 140,000 training days nationwide since 2004.

Mr Kerr added: “Our sights at Develop Training are firmly set on the next decade helping the utility industry to plug the projected 50 per cent gap in head count and create a sustainable, multi-skilled workforce of the future.”