Sep 2023

Spotlight on EngTech: James King

In our ongoing series of case studies, our Marketing Communications Co-ordinator Jordanne Allsopp spoke to James King, Safety Assurance Specialist at Cadent and an IGEM EngTech member.

Safety has been at the forefront of James King’s mind for the whole of his 21 years working within the gas industry.


During his time as a Compliance Officer at Cadent, he completed over 1,500 onsite inspections.

He said: “I wanted to coach the field force and supervisors to understand the reason for the inspections and ensure that everyone goes home safely every night.”

James began his career in the industry over two decades ago when he was just 18. He started out as a Repair Teammate at Transco, in the National Grid group, where he received training and gained a base of industry knowledge.

After three years, he became a Repair Team Leader in 2005, spending the next nine years managing a team responsible for locating and repairing gas leaks, replacing mains and services and liaising with customers.

During a stint acting as a deputy for his manager, he decided to progress his career further. James then took a secondment to work as a Flex Resource Controller at CMAC managing contract resources.

Later, he moved to Hollinwood’s Training Centre within the National Grid network, where he became a Skills & Competence Assessor. In this role, he assessed supervisors on their core activities, noting whether they needed further development and training or whether they were competent in their field.

Fast forward to 2022, and James was promoted to his current role as a Safety Assurance Specialist within the East Midlands Network at Cadent.

His daily tasks include designing, managing and executing the annual second-line assurance plan with Cadent’s Construction Management Organisation (CMO) and monitoring the contracted mains replacement activities to ensure that the principal contractor is carrying out its duties safely and competently.

James’ IGEM membership has supported him throughout his time in the industry and has allowed him to always put safety at the forefront of his mind thanks to unlimited access to our standards and training courses.

He said: “Having an IGEM membership widens your knowledge about what other gas companies are doing and encourages the sharing of best practices. By not limiting oneself and reaching out to others, it broadens everyone’s learning experience.”

He also talks about how becoming a member has been immensely helpful to him: “I receive a monthly magazine, receive invitations to talks, courses, and meetings, and have access to networking opportunities. The industry knowledge and connections I gain from being a member continue to benefit my career growth."

James is an EngTech member which, he says, is invaluable to his career prospects and demonstrates to his peers that he has met certain standards of knowledge and experience.

He said: “I value my EngTech status because it demonstrates my professional competence and dedication to the engineering field within the gas industry.”

James has seen a lot of change over the years, but his career still affords him the opportunity to take part in new processes. He said: “Over 21 years in the industry, I have experienced many changes and look forward to the everchanging future.

“I am particularly interested in the forthcoming operations 4.0 within Cadent and the hydrogen journey, which I believe will be a game-changer for the industry.”

James adds that now is an exciting time to start a career in the industry with the potential changes and opportunities that could be made available from the introduction of hydrogen. Researching the opportunities available and choosing the path that aligns with your interests and skills is the most important thing, he explains.

“Don’t limit yourself to just one area; explore the vast opportunities available. Pursuing an EngTech certification can broaden your expertise and enhance your CV.”

Cadent is currently taking steps to educate people by attending schools, roadshows and career fairs. It’s crucial to teach the younger generation about the dangers of carbon monoxide and safety within the industry, says James.

Looking to the future of the industry and those who will be playing their part, James offers advice for anyone wanting to break into the industry.

He said: “Focus on gaining a strong foundation of technical knowledge and practical experience. This can involve pursuing relevant education and training such as apprenticeships and internships. Gaining some hands-on experience is also beneficial.

“It’s important to maintain a strong work ethic and a commitment to safetyas these are essential qualities for success in the gas industry.”