BUDDING engineers are being put through their paces at a new training academy as part of National Apprenticeship Week.

The centre in Dyneley Road, Blackburn, was set up by Electricity North West in October and is spending the week celebrating its young engineers who will help keep the lights on across East Lancashire for years to come.

It comes as firms across the area celebrate the week, with apprenticeship jobs being created in a wide variety of professions.

The £2 million academy is part of the energy supplier’s apprenticeship scheme, now in its seventh year, which has welcomed more than a hundred apprentices looking to develop careers in the electricity industry.

Steve Johnson, chief executive at Electricity North West, said: “We have a responsibility to the next generation to create opportunities and also to our customers across the North West to keep their lights on for years to come.

“I started my career as a trainee engineer, joining the industry straight from school so I understand the importance of apprenticeship schemes and the endless prospects they can provide.

“It’s an exciting time to be an apprentice with Electricity North West as we approach the final year of our five-year £1.4bn investment plan and plan for another £2bn of investment in the region up to 2023.

“Our apprentices are the ones who will help us deliver that.”

The company is currently searching for new apprentices for its 2014 apprenticeship scheme.

The deadline for applications for the three-year scheme is Friday.

As part of the week Clayton-le-Moors boiler cover specialists 247 Home Rescue also announced it had hired 50 new apprentices since February 2013.

And Blackburn solicitors, Lance Mason, have also launched a recruitment campaign to employ eight legal apprentices.