5 Live Updates arrow
Account Login

Southern Water celebrates all ages and backgrounds during National Apprenticeship Week

Southern Water is shining the spotlight on its team of apprentices working hard to embark upon a new career in the water industry. 

Southern Water is shining the spotlight on its team of apprentices working hard to embark upon a new career in the water industry. 

And age is not a barrier to joining our scheme, as can be demonstrated by 17-year-old Alfie Weeks and 52-year-old Rafed Ali’s 35-year difference in life experience.  

Alfie is currently Southern Water’s youngest apprentice, and is learning his trade as a Multi-skilled Technician Apprentice, having started his apprenticeship with Southern Water in September 2023.  

Alfie lives in Cowes on the Isle of Wight and travels to SETA (Southampton Engineering Training Association) in Southampton to carry out his apprentice training in mechanical and electrical engineering.  

The teenager stays in the Hall of Residence there during the week and travels back on the Red Jet Ferry, paid for by the company, for the weekend. 

Alfie said: “I prefer a hands-on type of approach to work and like problem solving. The company offer great career prospects and I’m excited about my future at work. Southern Water have lots of benefits for apprentices. They are paying for me to take my driving test, my travel on the ferry and the Halls of Residence. I like earning and learning. After speaking to some of my friends, I think my salary is very competitive.  

“My favourite thing about the work so far is meeting new people. I have learnt so much from speaking with people who have lots of experience. They are great role models. 

I’ve an English GCSE already and am taking my maths exam with the company. I hope to have a level 3 qualification in maintenance and operations engineering at the end of my apprenticeship.” 

Rafed is an ETS (Engineering and Technical Solutions) Modelling Manager. He uses hydraulic modelling software to improve the performance of wastewater and water networks.  

The 52-year-old started a Level 7 Senior Leader Apprenticeship in September 2022, following the completion of his Level 5 apprenticeship in leadership and management qualification in May of the same year. He lives in South West London and commutes to Brighton up to three times a week. 

Rafed said: “I’ve worked at Southern Water for nearly seven years and it’s a great place to work. They have helped advance my career and I have also achieved a professional chartership with the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management.  

“I also had the opportunity to present at an international conference in Las Vegas, discussing a digital transformation project of Southern Water. The presentation focused on ‘Automation of Wastewater Model Verifications Using Optimizer.’  

“The apprenticeship programs have been rewarding and I plan to apply the knowledge gained to better lead my team and contribute to the company in digital transformation, innovation and cost efficiency.” 

Richard Griffiths, Early Careers Partner at Southern Water, added: “Our company apprenticeship scheme is an opportunity for apprentices to work in an exciting industry. At Southern Water we offer a competitive salary and comprehensive training programmes. Our apprentices can acquire new skills and build rewarding careers.  

“We have around 70 apprentices join our scheme each year and they work across four counties, Hampshire, Kent, East and West Sussex and the Isle of Wight.”