Jun 2024

Building bright futures

In the spring edition of our Gu supplement, we explore the Training Terrace at Develop Training's York site and how they're helping young people expand their skillset. Read the full article below...

Develop Training is one of the UK’s leading providers of technical, safety & compliance training for utility sector professionals. A recent £1m investment in it’s York centre has revolutionised the way that delegates can expand their skill set, most notably through a true to-scale artificial street aptly named Training Terrace.

Develop Training

The training provider is dedicated to shaping the minds of individuals to help them grow their careers in the industry. They provide a wide range of training solutions for the Utilities and Construction, Defence, Healthcare, Facilities Management and Telecommunications sectors.

They have eight sites across the UK which provide support and learning opportunities for all age groups. Develop’s York centre has long been known as a Centre of Excellence for utility professionals in the North of England.

Last year it underwent a £1m refurbishment, including £500k on building a state-of-the-art artificial street called Training Terrace. The purpose-built street offers a unique opportunity for delegates to learn in a true to life environment where courses can be delivered for emergency responses to gas incidents, excavation safety, cable avoidance, street lighting, drains, sewer jetting and confined spaces entry.

In June 2023, the true to-scale artificial street welcomed its first intake of delegates who were undertaking NCO Gas Level 2 Escape, Locate & Repair training.

One delegate commented: “The street provides well-thought-out and realistic interiors, which makes it feel just like the houses we encounter in our day-to[1]day work. It’s incredible how the facility replicates some of the challenges we face on domestic sites.”

 Another delegate emphasised the benefits of Training Terrace: “The realism and familiarity offered by Training Terrace makes a significant difference in our training. I personally feel more confident and better prepared to handle real-life situations after undergoing training in this facility because it’s allowed me to practice my skills in a safe and controlled environment.”

Northern Gas Networks worked in conjunction with Develop Training to develop the site, nicknamed Joint Emergency Training Set (JETSET), and work out its training needs.

Paul Tate, Lead Emergency Trainer at Northern Gas Networks, said: “The facilities including the new JETSET will significantly improve the training opportunities for the whole team at Northern Gas Networks and provide real-life scenarios.

“It’s been a long-term project and it’s fantastic to see it come to life and now be used to enhance the training and development opportunities for not just Northern Gas but the sector as a whole.”

Develop Training’s parent company, JTL Group, work closely with Northern Gas Networks to provide training for its gas engineering apprentices at the York training centre.

Jim Donnelly is a Senior Utilities Trainer at Develop and has worked in the industry for many years. He provides mainly classroom-based compliance training and assesses qualifications for people who are “fresh into the industry, people who have been in the industry for 40 years and everyone in between.”

Jim said: “We’re welcoming young people who are new into the industry to train with us. They start at an operative level and then progress right through to first line management and beyond.

 “The facility at York really offers us a chance to give them a real as we can experience of working in the industry on emergencies. In particular for young people who have never actually been on a real-life emergency job, it gives them an invaluable insight into how it all fits together.”

Jim went on to explain that Develop Training also have a full ACS facility to train downstream engineers, covering all aspects of gas utilisation and distribution. The provider’s Derby facility is the home of a seven-week learning programme where people can upskill from a gas distribution role to a gas utilisation role.

The programme takes place partly on site and partly within a delegate’s workplace, they receive mentoring, complete a small portfolio and then are put through their ACS qualification, leading them onto the Gas Safe Register to be able to complete work in the downstream sector.

Develop Training’s Operational Training Manager for Energy & Utilities, Daryll Garavan, explained the range of people that use the programmes. He said: “The compliance-based training really enables people to be able to do their job which can be very rewarding whilst also progressing up the ladder.

“A variety of people use Develop from people upskilling themselves to step up into a role, to people brand new into the industry. We really provide the whole learning journey.

 “Our UK-wide centres cater for candidates from the different distribution networks where we provide a range of different pathways and training courses, tailored to what the network require.”

Develop Training provide services to thousands of small firms, large infrastructure companies and train over 30,000 learners every year whilst also providing flexible eLearning programmes across the world.