Matt, Apprentice, Northern Gas Networks

Matt always enjoyed problem solving and is a ‘hands on’ type of person. After speaking with friends who work in similar roles and hearing about their job satisfaction he started looking into engineering opportunities in the energy and utilities sector. Find out what motivated him to choose an apprenticeship with Northern Gas Networks.

Matt Dawson apprentice gas engineer for Northern Gas Networks in Leeds

What do you do and where do you do it? 

I’m currently an apprentice gas engineer for Northern Gas Networks in Leeds. By the end of my apprenticeship I’ll be trained to MRE (Mains Response Engineer) level which will mean I can respond to internal and external gas escapes and lay both gas services and gas mains where needed.

Why is your role important?

It’s important for various reasons, but the main one being ensuring our customer’s safety when it comes to gas emergencies. Within our network, there are over 37,000km of gas pipes which need to be maintained. Whilst we now relay everything in plastic, there are still a lot of old metal pipes in the ground which over time breakdown due to cracking or corrosion. When this happens, we need to respond quickly to ensure our customers have a safe, stable and continuous gas supply to their homes and businesses.

"What is clear from working at Northern Gas Networks is that there are good career prospects and development opportunities for this who work hard and are willing to push themselves. I’ve had lots of training in relation to my role since I started and there have been additional opportunities to develop other skill sets and gain additional qualifications."

What attracted you to join the energy and utilities sector?

I’ve always enjoyed problem solving and am quite a ‘hands on’ type of person. Friends of mine work in similar roles and after chatting to them about their jobs and the satisfaction they got from what they did it made me start looking into opportunities in the energy and utilities sector. I looked at various engineering roles including for telecommunications providers, gas and electric providers and the water board, but none of them appealed to me as much as Northern Gas Networks did.

Would you recommend your job to a friend and why?

Absolutely. Sometimes it can be cold and wet working outside (especially in the winter!) but for the most part I think the negatives are far outweighed by the positives. Having worked in an office for years I love the sense of freedom I get from being outside and really enjoy the fact I’m rarely in the same place two days in a row.

What does an average day consist of?

This varies day to day due to the nature of the role. We could be laying brand new gas services to houses on a new housing development/building site, we could be in a customer’s garden replacing an old metallic service pipe that’s been leaking or we could be in the middle of a field with a leaking gas main to repair. Every day is different and that keeps it interesting.


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