All part of the game

The clock is ticking for Lewis Ward and his team.

With gas cylinders leaking, the race is on to find out the source of the problem and block it before moving on to the next crisis.

Fortunately, it’s all part of a game created by Lewis and his fellow students as part of a work experience presentation to raise awareness of gas leaks and how to stop them.

The teenager uses a whiteboard for some freehand drawing to explain his design as the judging panel look on impressed.

The 18-year-old admits his life is not all fun and games though – he is currently holding down three jobs since finishing his A levels at John Cleveland College in Hinckley.

“I’ve done my exams now but I’m not the sort of person to sit around. Even though it’s been great earning some money, this week has been really interesting and has made me think of the bigger career,” he said.

Lewis, who studied economics, maths and ICT, was fascinated by the logistics of National Grid and what it takes to power the UK.

He said: “National Grid is so important in our everyday lives, but it’s easy to take what they do for granted.

“You often see the operators in their hi-vis jackets at the side of the road and you don’t actually know what they’re doing, but now I am more aware of how it all works and why it’s so important. Did you know some of the specials maintenance vehicles are worth over £300,000?

The keen number cruncher doesn’t mind admitting he has also been impressed by the rewards on offer for National Grid engineers and office-based staff.

“That’s why I want to get as much experience as I can. The placement was put on the intranet at school and I applied straightaway. I wanted to enhance my CV by doing a variety of stuff, but the placement has definitely been more than that,” he said.

“I am going to apply to one of the apprenticeships in September because I enjoyed it so much. It has shown me what a career in engineering might be like and I think I would be quite good.”

The competition is tough for the apprenticeships at National Grid, but this hard worker is sure to make an impression in whatever comes next.