Apprenticeships can turn your life around

The theme of this year’s National Apprenticeship Week is ‘build the future’ and water company United Utilities has almost 80 opportunities available to join its award winning apprenticeship programme.

Recognising the role apprenticeships can play in achieving long-term business goals, United Utilities is keen to create opportunities for people in the communities they serve and are seeing first-hand how its programme is changing lives.

When Paulina Parzych moved to the UK from Poland, the well-educated and experienced engineer found it hard to find a job that would utilise her skills.

Living in Manchester and struggling to find a suitable job that matched her experience, Paulina settled for a job in a warehouse, but when the pandemic hit, she was made redundant.

Paulina, mentally and physically hit an all-time low:

“With no idea what to do, I was exhausted, frustrated and close to giving up on everything completely, it really did get that bad”.

That’s when she heard about United Utilities apprenticeship scheme, through a collaboration the water company had with employment agency the Launch Group to attract disadvantaged people with pre-apprenticeship support.

After completing the programme, Paulina went through the recruitment process and received a call that turned her life around.

“Following so many rejections, I was sceptical anything good would come after applying, but when the company called to say I had successfully secured an apprentice role, it has turned out to be the best decision of my life.

“The company is really a great place to work and every employee is valued. Trust me, I have worked for many companies, in different roles with varying levels of responsibility and I have never received so much support and so many opportunities.”

United Utilities has roles ranging in science, engineering, data analysis, credit control, quantity surveying and even apprenticeship options for heavy goods vehicles.

Within the jobs available, 30 Green Apprenticeship roles will play a key part in helping the company achieve its plans to go Carbon neutral by the end of this decade

Julie McGovern, head of people for United Utilities, explained:  “The opportunities at United Utilities are endless and our apprenticeships are open to all, whether you’re fresh out of school or college, starting your work journey later in life or wanting to switch jobs paths.

That’s something twenty-two year old, Gabi Ord, from Eccleston did, after joining United Utilities in January 2021, having previously worked in the music business and a jet-ski dealership.

After always considering a career in HGV driving, following in her dad’s footsteps, she became the first female HGV apprentice driver at United Utilities.

“I’m a confident driver but moving something that’s so much bigger was nerve-wracking at first, especially when I went out on my own.

“But the company has provided me with all the support I need, so I can complete my training and pass my tests, even through difficult circumstances, due to Covid,” Gabi said.

Applications close on March 6th. For more information, and to apply for an apprenticeship like Paulina’s or Gabi’s, visit