The installation of smart meters has been ongoing across the UK for a number of years now but many people have yet to embrace them. This can be due to a number of factors including trepidation about the new technologies that are involved and being unsure of whether they represent a good deal.
According to the UK Government statistics Report there were an estimated 27.8 Million domestic smart meters in Q1 of 2022 and that only represents 52% of all domestic meters, so there is still some distance to go before the UK is fully covered. There is also the factor that older smart meters will need to be replaced at some point as new functionality and technology is built into the next generation.
This provides an excellent opportunity for smart meter installation apprenticeships to continue to be valuable career stepping stones, setting out a direction of travel on your career path.
What Does a Smart Meter Installation Apprenticeship Involve?
In common with other apprenticeship standards, a smart meter installation apprenticeship will allow you to earn as you learn. You will be paid for the duration of your apprenticeship and you will spend 80% of your time in on-the-job training, with 20% of your time being used to gain an academic qualification via off-the-job training. This is just one of the many reasons to start an apprenticeship.
This means that you will be able to gain valuable real-world experience of the job role and what it entails, so that at the end of the apprenticeship, you will be ready to move straight into the role.
The End Point Assessment at the finale of the apprenticeship will ensure that you have learned everything that is required to meet the apprenticeship standard that you are being measured against. The apprenticeship standards ensure that everyone who is undertaking a particular apprenticeship and completes it comes out with the necessary skills to jump straight into the relevant job role.
What Will I Learn On the Job?
When undertaking a smart meter installation apprenticeship, you will learn how to install, monitor and maintain the current and previous generations of smart meter. You will be able to access the data that they hold, diagnose problems and repair them on-site.
You will also be expected to interact positively with customers and to be able to explain to them the benefits of taking control of their household power usage and the ways that they can use this information to cut down on their bills. This should be relatively easy at present due to the rising energy bills that are being felt across the UK at the moment and the cost of living crisis that people are struggling with.
It is possible that you may encounter some hostility from the public, due to the obscene profits being made by energy companies at present. While this obviously isn’t fun to deal with, you should be able to deflect most of it by saying you are just someone doing an apprenticeship and trying to get on, in a difficult economic climate.
Which Smart Meter Installation Apprenticeships are Available?
This Level 2 apprenticeship should take approximately 14 months to complete, not including the End Point Assessment, which may take longer depending on capacity. This is an intermediate level apprenticeship which means it should be suitable for school leavers without the most impressive of academic qualifications. The entry requirements are relatively low and the qualification received at the end will be equivalent to an NVQ2 or BTEC.
The apprenticeship will take place either with an energy company directly or with a smaller contracting company that works with them on the smart meter installations. You will have a mentor that you should be dealing with directly on a daily basis and who will be keeping you right in your work. In terms of the academic side of things, you will be expected to undertake this from either a local academic institution such as a college, at your place of employment or at home, if they allow remote work.
This is a physical role and there may be a requirement to move heavy equipment in order to successfully install the meters. You may be expected to work in high places or places where there is very little room for manoeuvre, so it is definitely not a job for someone who is either scared of heights or is claustrophobic.
You will be expected to follow strict health and safety protocols and to be aware of potential problems within the end user’s home such as a potential build up of carbon monoxide. You must, by law, be on the Gas Safe Register and have signed the Meter Operation Code of Practice Agreement (MOCOPA). These ensure that you have the knowledge and experience that is necessary for working in complicated environments inside the houses of customers where there may be pipes for multiple utilities in very close quarters to each other.
Apply for a Smart Meter Installation Apprenticeship today
If you have read all of the information above and have perused the reasons to start an apprenticeship, you may be looking at how best to take this forward. There is some good information on the “how to apply for an apprenticeship” page and you can also take a look at the “who can start an apprenticeship” information that we have put together if you are unsure whether you are eligible for one.
You can look for a suitable apprenticeship in your local area by visiting our dedicated apprenticeship jobs board where we have a great variety of high quality apprenticeship opportunities from across the UK.
If you are unsure about how to take an application forward, we also have detailed information about writing a CV and an effective covering letter to help you to put your best foot forward when you apply.
If you are an employer looking to advertise a vacancy in this field ,you can visit our services for employers page where you can purchase apprenticeship job vacancy credits to promote your role to directly to apprentice candidates.