Crossmolina Apprentice one year into Gas Networks Ireland Apprenticeship Programme

Stephen Flanagan, from Crossmolina, County Mayo, chosen as one of 14 Gas Networks Ireland apprentices out of almost 1,100 applicants

In 2015, Gas Networks Ireland, the owner and operator of Ireland’s natural gas network, launched its first apprenticeship programme in over 30 years. 14 apprentices were recruited and began work in September 2015, including Stephen Flanagan, from Crossmolina in Mayo. Stephen has been working with his mentor Martin Murphy, from Crass, County Mayo. 

Gas Networks Ireland launched the apprenticeship programme to ensure the company could attract and nurture top talent to continue to deliver on its operational and strategic objectives. The programme provides mentor-led apprenticeships in mechanical automation and maintenance fitting, electrical instrumentation and pipefitting.

After completing sixth year in Jesus & Mary Secondary School, Gortnor Abbey, Stephen Flanagan began his apprenticeship with Gas Networks Ireland:

‘I have learnt so much about so many different sides of the gas industry, I have been really fortunate to be working with the Corrib project, so I have gained a really broad view of what happens in the entire pipeline, from extracting the gas and the process it goes through to heat our homes and run businesses all over Ireland.’

‘There is an extra dimension of responsibility that comes with being an apprentice, because although we are learning, we are also doing a job. The hands-on practical learning you are exposed to working with a mentor has been invaluable for me, and has definitely accelerated my learning process.’

Martin Murphy, Stephen’s mentor, comments: ‘It has been really fulfilling to see all of the progress Stephen has made over the past year. While there are benefits to both college and apprenticeships, as someone who didn’t do an apprenticeship I can see the huge hands-on learning benefit it provides.’ Martin Murphy, Stephen's Mentor Brian Flynn, Gas Technical Competency Training Manager, Gas Networks Ireland comments: ‘The apprenticeship programme is extremely important for Gas Networks Ireland, because it allows us to pass on our knowledge and experience within the company, attracting and nurturing the brightest in-house talent. I would like to congratulate Stephen on a fantastic first year of his apprenticeship programme.’ Brian Flynn - Gas Technical Competency Training Manager  

The programme is facilitated in partnership with SOLAS. The apprentices receive on-site training with Gas Networks Ireland technical training coaches and will also attend formal classes in the Educational Training Boards, Metac facility and in appropriate Institutes of Technology. On completion of the Apprenticeship Programme, successful trainees will be awarded a Level 6 Advanced Certificate Craft. This is recognised nationally and internationally as the requirement for craftsperson status.

For further information:

Aimee Beale 086 151 4024

Gas Networks Ireland
Mary O’ Mahony 086 834 2277

Notes to Editor:

About Gas Networks Ireland

Gas Networks Ireland is the business division of Ervia that owns, operates and develops the natural gas network in Ireland and connects all customers to the gas network. Gas Networks Ireland operates one of the most modern and safe gas networks in the world, consisting of 13,000km of pipeline around Ireland. We ensure that almost 674,000 homes and businesses receive a safe, efficient and secure supply of natural gas, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Ervia is a commercial semi-state multi-utility company with responsibility for the delivery of gas and water infrastructure and services in Ireland.

Issued by Murray on behalf of Gas Networks Ireland