Jim from Bedford has been keeping the region’s lights on for 40 years

Picture by Nigel Bowles 07860839102''Connors Brighton 01273 4868512''UK Power Networks''40 plus club Cambourne 2019''21.06.2019
Picture by Nigel Bowles 07860839102''Connors Brighton 01273 4868512''UK Power Networks''40 plus club Cambourne 2019''21.06.2019

A power worker who has served more than 40 years in his industry received a long-service commendation this week.

Jim Young, who lives in Bedford started his first job with Eastern Electricity as a joiner’s mate in 1979, and has been in his current role as a distribution planning engineer for the past 15 years.

Mr Young, 61, said: “I’ve seen a lot of changes, but it doesn’t seem like 40 years.

“It’s a good company or I wouldn’t still be here. The people are what I enjoy most about the job and if I were to retire that’s what I would miss most.

“I’m a problem solver, I like to be presented with challenges and come up with solutions. It’s surprising, having been here so long, how many new challenges come along, things I haven’t dealt with before, things nobody has.

“Every day you’re still learning. I work in an office full of young designers who come to me for advice and I like passing my knowledge on.”

And it seems that working in power runs in Mr Young’s family; his son Adam is currently working as a linesman for UK Power Networks.

But Jim admits it is unlikely his son will reach the same milestone given how freely people move jobs today.

He added: “I’m really pleased he’s learned a terrific, transportable skill and potentially I’d like to think Adam’s a future engineer wherever he goes. He likes to get in there and make decisions.”

Basil Scarsella, chief executive of UK Power Networks, said: “We like to recognise and celebrate the dedication and expertise of our employees, many of whom have lived and worked in the areas we serve for a long time.

“Their work keeping the lights on is usually carried out behind the scenes, but it is very valuable in helping everyday lives run smoothly and contributing to the success of local economies.”

The company which keeps the lights on for more than 18million people, has over 400 employees with over 40 years’ service and holds an annual event for those who reach the milestone.