Q&A with Poppy Friell - Commercial apprentice

working for us

What made you decide to pursue an apprenticeship? 

At the time, I had left a job which I felt unfulfilled in, and was unsure of what route I wanted to take in my career. I knew I was looking for something business-based with a company that offered a good package and prospects.
My brother works as an engineer for Cadent and saw this apprenticeship advertised on the internal job board.
After lots of supportive conversations with him, HR and other employees involved in the interview process, I decided to apply on a whim - and it was the best decision I ever made!

When did you start your apprenticeship with Cadent? 

I started my apprenticeship at the end of September 2019.

What does your day-to-day role involve? 

One of the reasons I chose this scheme was because your day can consist of anything you want it to.
I am in the commercial team and work with cost management specialists to protect the commercial interests of our clients, partners and Cadent itself.
Along with this, for my Project Management Foundation Degree, I manage two of my own projects.
I am involved in managing costs and giving work instruction documents to our partners to deliver work. At the end of each project, I will audit the actual costs to ensure all parties are getting value for money.
There is always the opportunity to see these projects in action by getting out on-site, helping me feel more connected to the project and develop my understanding of the industry. For example, understanding engineering difficulties supports the need for a rise in costs and can easily be justified to the customer if I am confident in my knowledge.

What have you enjoyed most about your apprenticeship? 

The variety - no two days are the same, and I’m travelling to new places all the time; whether that’s to meet contractors, visit sites or for training.
I am given new opportunities all the time. By taking them I am upskilling myself for my future career.

What advice would you give to someone considering pursuing an apprenticeship? 

Be openminded; without my brother's support, I don’t think I would have had the confidence to apply because it was an industry completely new to me - the thought of not knowing anything scared me initially.

Once I pushed myself out of my comfort zone, I was more prepared to ask any questions (even if I thought they were stupid), and the support I received was incredible. I was prepared to acknowledge I needed to learn and colleagues were there to help me.

Apprenticeships at Cadent

We have a range of apprenticeship opportunies at Cadent, which will be opening for applications soon.


Cadent is the UK’s largest gas distribution network with a 200-year legacy.  We are in a unique position to build on strong foundations whilst encouraging the curiosity to think differently and the courage to embrace change.  Day to day we continue to operate, maintain and innovate the UK’s largest gas network, transporting gas safely and protecting people in an emergency.   Our skilled engineers and specialists remain committed to the communities we serve, working day and night to ensure gas reaches 11 million homes from Cumbria to North London and the Welsh Borders to East Anglia, to keep your energy flowing. 

Future of Gas: Here at Cadent we support the Government’s plans to reach Net Zero by 2050. That means we’re backing the introduction of hydrogen as a low carbon alternative to natural gas for the future. We know people love the controllability of gas and, with our network already in place, it makes sense to switch to the lower carbon alternative offered by hydrogen, which we believe can keep homes and businesses warm for generations to come.

Cadent manages the national gas emergency service free phone line on behalf of the gas industry - 0800 111 999*

Cadent Gas Ltd is owned by a consortium of global investors.

*All calls are recorded and may be monitored.