A real alternative to university

There’s a lot you can learn by going to university. But, if you know what career direction you want to take, university might not be your best option: from debt to the delay in getting experience under your belt, uni can come with a real opportunity cost. 

If you’ve completed, or nearly completed, your A-levels or equivalent, one of our two or three-year Higher Apprenticeship Programmes could be the option for you. Through a combination of formal studying and learning how to put what you’ve learnt into practice, you can achieve a Foundation degree or level 4 qualification – dependent on business area – and set your career on the right track. 

What will I be doing?

Our first year Technical and Engineering apprentices spend time at the National Training Academy in Eakring, Nottinghamshire, completing a mix of safety and basic technical training.

If you’re part of the IT or Capital Delivery teams, your first year will be spent working alongside managers and colleagues, developing a sound understanding of your business area, before rotating across teams to understand how they work together. 

Year two involves continuing with academic qualifications and continuing to building technical skills, spending time at our academy centres or Aston University and learning on the job with the support of your manager.

Some of our schemes extend over a third year. You’ll spend most of your time on site, putting your training into practice and setting the foundation you need to go far.

What routes can I take?

Now you know what you’ll be doing as a Higher Apprentice, discover what different routes you can follow on the Higher Apprenticeship Programme.

Substations

The National Transmission System is monitored and protected by an integrated control system, and you’ll be a specialist in looking after it. Setting maintenance teams to work, commissioning new substation equipment: it’ll be down to you to keep everything shipshape.

Power System Planning

Planning, prioritising and optimising the construction and maintenance of electricity transmission systems. It’s a vital role, and in the Power System Planning team, that’s what you’ll be doing.

Transmission Network Control Centre

In case of emergency, you’ll be the one who helps save the day. As part of the Control Centre team, you’ll work in shifts to coordinate standby engineers for out-of-hours work, and emergency callouts.

System Operator - Electricity

Keeping things running smoothly, 24/7. It’s an essential task and, as part of our Power System Operations team, it’s what you’ll be doing. Planning and managing the live operation of the UK’s electricity transmission network, you’ll be at the backbone of keeping people connected to energy.

Cyber Security

With the advance of technology, the world we live in is becoming increasingly complex and interconnected – and cyber security is more important than ever. Working as part of our dedicated Digital Risk and Security division, you’ll play a crucial role in helping us manage cyber risk in the UK and US. There aren’t many roles with scope and importance of this.

Project Management

Planning schedules, managing costs and solving problems: it’s all in a day’s work for our Project Controls team. Every project we execute needs a safe set of hands guiding it from start to finish: as part of this team, you’ll be those hands.

Contracts and Commercial

Being involved in the development and implementation of contract strategies, you'll gain extensive experience of how contracts are managed. You’ll work closely with a number of stakeholders and interfaces including the Construction delivery teams, Global Procurement and our Development function.

My future

Where will it take me?

A Higher Apprenticeship with National Grid is the perfect way to get your career off to a flying start. Once you’ve completed your training, you’ll become a specialist in your chosen area, having the opportunity to put what you’ve learnt into practice while building your technical skills and working towards certificates and qualifications. Whatever role you choose, the opportunities really are endless.

What’s in it for me?

Earn a competitive salary, acquire a foundation degree or top qualification and gain valuable practical experience. As a Higher Apprentice, you’ll receive all this – and be part of an organisation with ambitious, world-changing plans for the future, with you at the heart of them. Below are just some of the many benefits that come with being one of our apprentices.

Rewards and Benefits

  • A starting salary of £23,500 p.a.
  • 25 days’ annual leave plus statutory holidays
  • Permanent job opportunities at National Grid
  • Full-board accommodation whilst at our academy
  • Pension scheme
  • London-weighting allowance 
  • Sharesave options
  • Leisure facilities and events

Qualifications Received

  • Transmission Network Control Centre, Power System Planning & System Operator Electricity - Foundation Degree in Electrical Power Engineering (Power Systems Management)
  • Substations- Foundation Degree in Electrical Power Engineering (Transmission)
  • Cyber Security – Level 4 Cyber Security Risk Analyst (Level 4 diploma in IS Security Professional Competence)
  • Project Management – Level 4 Associate Project Manager (Level 4 APM Diploma in Project Management)

Frequently asked questions

  • 1 What level of qualification will I achieve at the end of the Apprenticeship?

    You’ll receive a foundation degree or a Level 4 Diploma Qualification, depending on the business area you choose to apply for.

  • 2 Where will I study during my Higher Apprenticeship?

    All our Apprentices begin at our National Training Centre in Eakring, Nottinghamshire. Depending on your apprenticeship, you’ll then either spend time at a local academy centre or two-week blocks at Aston University in Birmingham.

  • 3 Am I guaranteed a job after I complete my Higher Apprenticeship with National Grid?

    Yes! You’ll be offered a full-time permanent position on successful completion of the programme. We invest in making sure you to have the skills and abilities you need to develop a successful career with us – will continue to support your career as you develop.

  • 4 Will National Grid support further studies in my specialist area?

    Yes: we’ll help you create a personal-development plan and encourage you to work towards professional registration. We’re also accredited with IET, IMechE and IGEM.

  • 5 Can I apply for a Higher Apprenticeship if I already have a degree?

    Yes you can. Provided that you have the required qualifications for the apprenticeship, you are welcome to apply. 

  • 6 Can I apply for more than one Higher Apprenticeship Programme?

    No, you can only apply for one Higher Apprenticeship but you can also apply for one Advanced Apprenticeship. However, if we feel your qualifications match another role we may contact you about it to see if it’s of interest to you.

How do I apply?

Join us

We’re looking for fresh talent and innovative thinking. If you’re passionate about the future of energy and excited by the prospect of working as part of a dynamic, inspiring team then you could be right for National Grid.

Here’s how to apply

  • Stage 1 Online Application

    Your application should take around one hour to complete, but you can save and return to it later. As part of your online application, you’ll complete timed ability tests and a personality questionnaire.

  • Stage 2 Telephone Interview

    If you’ve impressed us, you’ll be invited to a telephone interview where you’ll tell us a little more about yourself and your ambitions.

  • Stage 3 Assessment Centre

    If you’re invited to attend one of our assessment centres, you’ll take part in a number of exercises with other candidates designed to let your personality shine.

  • Stage 4 Decision

    We’ll make a decision as quickly as possible. If you’re successful, we’ll send you an offer letter confirming everything. If you’re unsuccessful, we offer a follow up call to provide feedback.