Phoenix helps fuel engineering ambitions

Phoenix Natural Gas is helping to fuel a bright future with the appointment of two new gas engineers who are the first to come through a new structured learning programme with the company that provides an alternative route to an engineering career.

Gemma Pollock 23, from Ballynahinch and David Majury 48, from Belfast recently completed the company’s new Gas Engineer Managed Learning Programme including undertaking their Gas Safe Registration and are now working as part of the Phoenix Natural Gas Energy Services Engineering team.

The Managed Learning Programme has been specifically designed to provide a route into engineering for people with an interest in the gas industry but who have limited or no engineering experience.  The learning programme has been approved by Gas Safe Register and through a combination of formal training and practical experience candidates cover all requirements of gas industry training standards.

Having introduced the new Managed Learning Programme, Duncan Whelan, Operations Manager at Phoenix Energy Services says: “Creating opportunities has always been important to us at Phoenix Energy Services and through the Managed Learning Programme we are delighted to offer another alternative route to an engineering career in the natural gas industry.

“By giving people an opportunity to have their studies coupled with practical on the job learning with an experienced mentor we help them see what they can do and break down some of the perceived barriers to pursuing a career in STEM.  While Gemma and David have very different career histories, they were both keen to learn and we’re delighted to see them both pass all the relevant assessments to achieve their qualifications and join our growing engineering team.

“With progress being made on the delivery of renewable gas solutions through our network it’s a really exciting time to be on the frontline of the natural gas industry and both Gemma and David are joining a team that plays a key role in delivering a sustainable energy future for our consumers.”

Gemma, who is currently the only female gas engineer in the Phoenix Energy Services team explains: “I started working in the natural gas industry a few years as a contact centre agent and have had a few different roles since then.  I’ve always enjoyed working with customers and understanding the connection process but I never imagined a career as an engineer as I didn’t have a scientific or engineering degree.

“When I saw the Managed Learning Programme Opportunity I knew it was the right next step for me.  Having an opportunity to combine study with practical application meant I could keep earning while I was learning and with all the topics broken down into individual modules, I could also track my progress as certificates were awarded upon completion of each module.

I had great support from the Phoenix Energy Services team throughout the programme and from Phoenix throughout my career, going from contact centre agent to engineer in just two years with the company.”

David who completed the programme alongside Gemma says: “I joined Phoenix two and a half years ago working in the meter depot with meter apparatus, so while I was used to working with meters themselves I had a lot to learn on the programme in relation to working with natural gas directly.  I’ve always challenged myself to try different roles and be open to learning so when the Managed Learning Programme came up it just felt like the right fit for me.

“Being 48 I would never have thought my next career move would be to become an engineer but the Managed Learning Programme made becoming an engineer a realistic and achievable career goal. I’m really proud to have completed the course and to be part of a fantastic team that keeps customers safe and connected every day.”

For more information on the career opportunities available at Phoenix Natural Gas visit or for further details on the benefits of natural gas visit