Keyworker praised for 40 years’ service after starting as apprentice in 1980
- Credit: UK Power Networks
An east Cambs keyworker has been praised for 40 years’ service by his employer after he started as an apprentice in the 80s.
Gary Dewey from Haddenham, now a project designer for UK Power Network, began his career at the company with a four-year apprenticeship in 1980.
The company has 500 employees with over 40 years’ service and a total of 86 across the UK reached their 40th or 50th milestone this year.
The first part of Mr Dewey’s working life was as an engineer in the field, including helping with the aftermath of the Great Storm of 1987 across Cambridgeshire.
The 56-year-old said: “I started a general apprenticeship straight from school at the age of 16 lodging at Harold Hill.
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“I had no family background in the industry, it just came about from a suggestion from my careers advisor at school, they went through a list of job that might suit me and were available.
“After completing that four year apprenticeship I started as a cable jointer in Milton.
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“The strongest memory is probably the Great Storm of 1987 which was a frantic few weeks as I was part of teams doing everything possible to restore power to people in and around Cambridgeshire.
“I moved to more office-based work in the mid-1990s and through a secondment got involved in Connections work about 2000 which I still do now.
“It benefits me I think that I’ve worked with the tools so I’ve got that experience of how it is in the field.
“I do a lot of training work as I enjoy passing on the knowledge I’ve got because it can be a challenge for young people to learn what we experienced heads know.
“On top of that I still keep learning myself, I’ve recently completed an HNC course and I’ve liked the way the job has gone from being on paper to being more electronic now.
“I’m not thinking about retirement yet because I still enjoy the camaraderie of working with colleagues and the challenges the job poses.
“It’s surprising for me how quickly the 40 years have gone when you sit down and start thinking about it, but I’m proud to reach this milestone.”
Basil Scarsella, chief executive of UK Power Networks, said: “I recognise and celebrate the dedication and expertise of our employees, many of who have lived and worked in the communities we serve, for a long time.
“Their work keeping the power on is usually carried out behind the scenes, but it enables everyone’s everyday lives to run smoothly.
“Even for those who have been with us for many decades, 2020 has been an unprecedented year and I am hugely proud of all of our staff’s response to the many challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, with everybody working hard to keep the power flowing.
“Clearly we cannot gather together for our usual 40+ Club dinner this year, but everybody appreciates the reasons why and it remains a milestone well worth marking.”