Peter Behan, Director of Group Horizon, explains why the company’s Junior Energy Management apprenticeship programme is suitable for anybody considering their career options or looking for a new challenge thanks to its real-world work experience and a skill set that every company should have in the 21st century.

Many of us have probably considered a career change at various points in our lives. For some, remaining in the same sector from their late teens/early 20s until retirement can bring many rewards and plenty of experience, while others reach a point where they feel they have got as far as they can on one career path and decide to go in a different direction altogether. Everyone is different and we all vary in how we are motivated.

The recent lockdowns have been difficult for everyone in a variety of ways, but they have also spurred people into trying new things like learning to play an instrument, learning a foreign language or improving their health and fitness – bike sales increased by 63 per cent during the first lockdown according to the UK’s Bicycle Association.

One thing that might deter people from making a fresh start is the thought of being behind everybody else while they are only just beginning and also being unsure of whether they will be able to secure a job. Group Horizon’s Junior Energy Management apprenticeship programme, however, really is open to anybody – and there is currently a major shortage of trained Energy Managers, so anybody who completes this apprenticeship will be helping to fill a void.

Many commercial buildings were left virtually empty during lockdown and this has led to many businesses having to reassess how they manage their premises. As more businesses come to realise that running their building at 100 per cent capacity is neither cost nor energy efficient when it is only partially occupied, there is a growing demand for the deployment of in-house Energy Managers. What’s more, it presents a fantastic opportunity for anybody who has been considering a change of career – especially during lockdown when the jobs market has been competitive and people have been assessing their career options or looking to try something new.

An Energy Manager could come from any previous background, whether it’s in banking, retail, construction, education or something else entirely. Apprentices are given the chance to learn a new set of skills and gain invaluable knowledge that will lead them on to a rewarding new career.

Liam Doughty, from Gateshead, previously worked in Facilities Management before starting a new role as an Energy Technician within Gateshead Council. Liam did not have any previous background within the energy industry, so he took up the Junior Energy Management apprenticeship opportunity with Group Horizon, a move that he is now reaping the benefits from. The qualification has provided Liam with a massive opportunity to progress his knowledge and skills in the energy industry and also move his career forward.

If Liam’s story inspires you then you too can begin your journey to become an Energy Manager under the guidance of Group Horizon. Also, if you are a company looking to meet your sustainability targets then an Energy Manager could be your answer. The Junior Energy Manager apprenticeship programme offers a balance of technical training and on-the-job assessments to match your needs and requirements and can be delivered on site in 24 months.