Parents section

What is an Apprenticeship programme?

An apprenticeship programme provides hands on experience, a salary and the opportunity to gain qualifications while you work. Our IT degree apprentices study towards a BSc (Hons) Digital and Technology Solutions at the University of Chichester. The programme takes four years to complete.

Three myths about Apprenticeships de-bunked

Apprenticeships are not for top students

Apprenticeships are not inferior but are purely an alternative route to gaining a meaningful career. We are looking for career-focused individuals, who have considered their options and are keen to enter the world of work, while learning. University isn’t always the best choice for young people and apprenticeships can offer a real valuable and worthwhile alternative. Moreover our IT degree apprenticeship programme involves further study and a degree at university.

Apprenticeships are at a disadvantage because they do not have a degree

Our IT degree apprenticeship programme provides the opportunity to achieve a degree at university, training and experience. Our IT Apprentices study towards a BSc (Hons) Digital and Technology Solutions at the University of Chichester. All of this while gaining work experience and soft skills working with diverse groups of people! And it doesn’t stop there – we have supported many apprentices with their study goals expanding on what they have achieved on our programmes throughout their career!

University grads earn more money than former apprentices/trainees

We view our apprentices as vital to the future success of our company and want to make sure we help them achieve their full potential. Our programmes are massive investments in our apprentices’ future and ours. For example, we invest over £80,000 in our apprentices over 3 years – through employment, mentors, training, and further study.  As their skills and experience develop, so does their salary.

How successful can apprentices be?

Nathan Sanders - Managing Director, SSE Utility Solutions and associated businesses

Nathan Sanders, is now Managing Director of SSE Utility Solutions and associated businesses SSE Water Ltd, SSE Heat Ltd, SSE Pipelines Ltd and SSE National Networks. Nathan began his career with SSE as a Comprehensive Electrical Apprentice showing that completion of your Apprenticeship isn’t where your career progression will stop.

Nathan joined SSE in 1988, completing his apprenticeship with Southern Electricity Board, covering all aspects of electrical installation works. He went on to have several roles, some of which included SEC Technical Trainee, Contracting Engineer, Senior Contracts Manager and then in 2010 Managing Director of SSE Utility Solutions and associated businesses.

Below are the qualifications he has gained during his time working with SSE:

  • MSc. “Positive Leadership Practice”
  • NVQ Management Studies
  • Mecuri Sales Management
  • IOSH Safety Certificate
  • HNC & ONC Electrical Engineering
  • C&G Electrical Installation & Maintenance

How do we look after candidates during our programme?

We have SSE mentors who help guide our apprentices throughout their programme and there’s also a dedicated Programme Manager who oversees all that our Apprentices do in terms of their development and attainment.

Studying at the University of Chichester

Our IT Degree Apprentices will work 4 days out of the SSE Havant site each week with one day at university during University term time. Outside of University term time they will work 5 days a week at SSE offices. This seems to work well for our apprentices because their theoretical work each week is backed up by the time they spend working practically on site at SSE.

My children have an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers, but isn’t the industry male dominated?

We are absolutely committed to taking measures to address gender imbalance and equality issues for those considering apprenticeships and trainee programmes in STEM subjects. 2016 proved to be a significant year for SSE in its diversity and inclusion journey. We are the first energy company in the industry to publish detailed reporting into the gender pay gap in our company in order to be open and transparent. In addition to a number of internal programmes aimed at addressing some of the issues the company is facing, SSE partnered with external organisations including Teach First, The Women's Engineering Society, Prospect and Equate Scotland. We are also visiting more schools, conducting joint events with bodies such as Skills Development Scotland and the Glasgow Science Centre to encourage females with an interest to pursue careers in STEM subjects and change the status quo of our industry being male-dominated.