Two hundred new British Gas apprenticeships were announced yesterday (6 June) at the GMB Congress in Plymouth.

Thirty-six of the 200 apprentices have already been recruited across Scotland, Birmingham, Leicester, Guildford, Naseby, Lincolnshire, Staines and North Surrey. They will start their Central Heating Installation apprenticeship this month in the academies.

Applications for the remaining 164 apprenticeships, in the service and repair division, will open in the next month. Applicants can register their interest now and find out more information at

The apprentices, who will graduate to jobs installing, servicing and repairing energy-efficient boilers and central heating systems in homes across the UK, will benefit from two years of training, rated “outstanding” by Ofsted. All the apprenticeships involve a mix of training at the British Gas Academy and time spent working in customers’ homes learning from a fully trained British Gas engineer.

British Gas has recruited and trained over 3,300 apprentices in the last 10 years and invests around £30,000 for each apprentice it trains. Last year, British Gas invested £10 million in its training academies and apprentices. All apprentices complete the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award as part of the programme.

Gary Smith, GMB national secretary for energy & utilities, said: "The British Gas apprenticeship is the best available. It is a real apprenticeship scheme that equips young people for life. It is great news that amongst all the economic gloom, and with unemployment amongst the young soaring, that so many opportunities are being created. GMB has always been 100% behind creating apprenticeships at British Gas. Every GMB member is so positive about this announcement."

Chris Jansen, managing director of services at British Gas, said: “We’re proud of our apprentices and the role they play in helping our customers’ homes stay warm and in good working order.

“With the economy facing tough times, apprenticeships offer a clear route to a job with skills and prospects for life. As a successful company, we are able to offer these opportunities to people.

“Applicants often think that they need the technical skills in place before they apply. Interpersonal skills are actually more important to us. We can teach the technical knowledge; we’re looking for people who are natural communicators and want to give great service to our customers.

“The 200 apprentices announced [yesterday] are in addition to 61 smart metering apprentices, 12 electrical services apprentices and 209 service & repair apprentices currently being trained in the British Gas academies.

“A snapshot survey of British Gas apprentices conducted earlier this year found that 98% of apprentices say their apprenticeship has set them up well for life. 98% would recommend an apprenticeship to a friend and 94% say they’re financially better off in the long run, and better prepared for the world of work than friends who went on to college or university.”