A NEW and bespoke national electrical skills training academy has been officially opened in Kingswinford by the Mayor of Dudley.

E.ON’s ‘Academy of Excellence’ has opened its doors to its first 30 trainees who are undertaking a year-long apprenticeship in smart meter installation.

Once they successfully complete their apprenticeship, the fully qualified technicians will be visiting customers’ homes and businesses to fit smart meters as part of a government-led nationwide rollout which will help make estimated energy bills a thing of the past.

At the official opening at the firm’s Kingswinford branch, the mayor, Councillor Dave Tyler, alongside E.ON’s CEO Michael Lewis and HR director Dave Newborough, welcomed the first of 1,000 recruits who will enrol at the academy over the next couple of years.

Mr Lewis said: “Recruiting and training technicians is an essential part of our ongoing activities to ensure the safe and successful rollout of smart meters, helping to boost the service we’re able to provide to our customers.

“We’ve a large number of smart metering roles to fill as we continue our nationwide installation programme and our new dedicated national smart metering Academy of Excellence will allow us to bring together the expertise needed to offer outstanding training opportunities for anyone willing and able to learn these exciting new skills.

“This new facility will support over 1,000 trainee technicians over the next two years and then beyond who’ll then be able to play a full role in this major industry transformation.”