Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has been highlighting the careers, training and apprenticeships available in its Utility Arborist teams at a recent event in Gloucestershire.

The annual ARB show is a two-day event hosted by The Arboricultural Association and took place this year in Tetbury’s National Arboretum, welcoming thousands of attendees and exhibitors including SSEN and Sparsholt College.

The distribution operator had invited Sparsholt College, which is based in Hampshire, to join them on their stand, with the collaboration helping both organisations to promote careers opportunities, courses and apprenticeships within the Utility Arboriculture industry. The event enabled prospective students and arborists to engage with teams on the stand; networking, sharing knowledge and further discussing SSEN’s apprenticeship and training programmes, and the many courses offered by the college.

Ross Warn, SSEN’s Utility Arborist Team Manager explains more:

“During the course of the event, we were able to welcome so many people to our stand – from colleagues and trainers, both old and new, to a host of people of all ages keen to discuss roles and training in the industry.

“Through our direct link with Sparsholt College and our own extensive training schemes at SSEN, we were able to talk through the different career paths that can lead to rewarding jobs and opportunities across utilities.”

Ross continued:

“SSEN’s participation in the ARB 2023 event has led representatives from colleges at Berkshire College of Agriculture, Bicton College and Merrist Wood College to express their interest in partnering and exploring potential collaborations for their arboriculture courses, presenting us with an exciting opportunity to reach more students and to advise them on careers in our industry.”

Performance and Delivery Manager for SSEN, Russ Turner added:

“Utility Arboriculture, much like many other practical career paths, has sadly seen a decline in interest from young people over recent years. At SSEN we have a high volume of trees and vegetation to manage, which helps us to maintain a consistent and resilient energy supply for our customers, and we need to invest in building our teams to keep this work on target year on year.

“Our forward-thinking succession plan has given us a different approach to recruitment; working alongside several contract partners, training providers and exploring a collaboration with an ex-services charity.

“We’re very much focused on the challenge ahead and keen to see more people considering a career in the Utility Arboriculture industry, so I’d encourage anyone seeking a new challenge, a change in job or kick-starting a career to explore the opportunities in this field.”

Apprenticeship Manager for Sparsholt College, Helen Mitchell said:

“Sparsholt College welcomed the opportunity of supporting SSEN at the annual ARB show to help promote training and employment within the sector and provide expertise on the current apprenticeship programme widely available. We spoke with numerous individuals on the day that were excited to consider a career in the Utility Arboriculture industry”.

“We are delighted to be working closely with the SSEN team to develop a bespoke programme of training to upskill their existing staff and have opportunity to provide our existing college students with the prospect of working for SSEN as a newly recruited individual to the organisation”.

To find out more about the exciting career and training opportunities as a Utility Arborist and other roles across SSEN, please see our Careers page – Careers – SSEN.

Additionally, places are open on SSEN’s Utility Arborist Adult Trainee programme across the distribution operator’s central southern England and north of Scotland regions, with full details available here.