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British Gas' engineers get the royal seal of approval

  • British Gas engineers receive their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards at St James’s Palace
  • The engineers trained as apprentices at British Gas’ Academies

British Gas engineers, who trained as apprentices at the company’s five Academies, received their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards (DofE) from HRH The Earl of Wessex at St James’s Palace this week.  

Around 2,200 British Gas apprentices have embarked on their Gold Award over the last ten years. The apprentices have gained skills in teamwork, communication and leadership and contributed around 100,000 hours of combined voluntary services to local communities.

To mark ten years in partnership, British Gas is making a year-long commitment to raise UK employers’ awareness of the skills gained by DofE Award holders and inspire more young people to start their DofE.

British Gas supports the DofE because the skills gained by participants help them in the workplace. A recent survey by the CIPD with UK employers showed the DofE was the most recognised youth programme for building work place skills.

By 2020, the DofE aims to inspire two million more young people to start their DofE programme.

As part of the commitment, British Gas will act as The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award’s Headline Diamond Partner for its 2016 ‘Skills for Work’ campaign, which coincides with the Charity’s Diamond Anniversary next year. Its support will help encourage more schools, DofE delivery partners and businesses to support more young people through the prestigious award. 

David Hunter, a British Gas engineer from Leeds Academy, said: “It was a real honour to visit the Palace and receive my Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award from HRH the Earl of Wessex.  During my apprenticeship, I really enjoyed all the challenges, in particular volunteering at my local community centre in Tuebrook, Liverpool.” 

Dave Marsh, Head of Academies at British Gas, said, “In the last ten years, thousands of British Gas engineers have achieved their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Awards. This means our engineers have the opportunity to learn from new experiences and gain skills for life as they complete their apprenticeship. We are looking forward to working closely with the DofE to inspire more young people to achieve their Gold Award.”

Speaking about the long-standing partnership, Peter Westgarth, Chief Executive of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, concluded, “As a partner of the DofE Charity for ten years, British Gas has long supported the development of young people and recognised the value of achieving a DofE Award.

David and the thousands of other apprentices who have achieved their Gold Awards whilst at British Gas, have experienced the huge sense of achievement and enjoyment young people get out of doing the DofE - all whilst building their confidence, developing new soft skills, broadening their horizons and discovering their talents 

These young people are the leaders of the future and we are thrilled to be working in partnership with British Gas during our Diamond Anniversary to ensure that even more young people are given this life-changing opportunity.”

Notes to editors

Notes to editors – figures correct as of 2014-15 stats

Further information about the DofE:

  • The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award was founded in 1956 by its Patron HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. HRH The Earl of Wessex is a Trustee.
  • Over 300,000 young people are currently taking part in DofE programmes in the UK, at 13,156 DofE centres, supported by 1,269 partner organisations and around 50,000 adult volunteers from all walks of life. 
  • Last year, 239,269 young people started a DofE programme.
  • 111,859 achieved a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
  • In total, over 5.6 million people have participated in DofE programmes in the UK and achieved over 2.4 million Awards since 1956.
  • A survey of major employers, commissioned by the United Learning Trust, found that a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is the most highly valued experience when selecting employees.
  • There are more than one million young people currently participating globally in over 140 countries and territories.
  • Since 1956, millions of young people have taken part across the world, highlighting how the DofE can truly transcend boundaries of race, language, ethnicity and culture.
  • The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award is a Registered Charity No 1072490 and in Scotland
  • No SC038254 and a Royal Charter Corporation RC000806.
  • Further information can be found at
  • The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Foundation is a Registered Charity in England and Wales No 1072453. The Foundation drives and supports the Award’s global growth so more young people can undertake the world’s leading youth achievement award.

More about the DofE


The DofE Charity

Youth charity The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award supports over 300,000 people aged 14-24 every year. Our ethos is to enable every young person of every background to take part in our programme and succeed, regardless of any barriers. We help instil a sense of adventure and have a lasting impact on young people’s behaviour, skills and life chances.

Our mission

To inspire, guide and support young people in their self-development and recognise
their achievements.

DofE programmes

Anyone aged between 14 and 24 can do a programme at one of the three progressive levels which, when successfully completed, lead to a Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. There are four sections at Bronze and Silver level and five at Gold.


  • Volunteering: undertaking service to individuals or the community.
  • Physical: improving in an area of sport, dance or fitness activities.
  • Skills: developing practical and social skills and personal interests.
  • Expedition: planning, training for and completion of an adventurous journey in the UK or abroad.
  • At Gold level, participants must do an additional fifth Residential section, which involves staying and working away from home doing shared activity.


Achieving a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award

Young people will achieve a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award if they show persistence, commitment and personal development over a period of time. Every activity must be successfully completed and assessed. The result is the world’s leading achievement award for young people, recognised by employers and universities alike. Completing a DofE programme develops young people for life and work. It develops resilience, confidence and a ‘can do’ attitude as well as the social and communication skills that businesses are calling out for.

Where it is run

DofE programmes are delivered in the UK under licence by over 1,200 partners (Licensed Organisations) who offer it in over 13,000 DofE centres such as youth clubs, voluntary organisations, schools, academies, colleges, universities, young offender institutions and businesses, which are run and supported by around 50,000 adult volunteers.

For more information contact:

Bieneosa Ebite
British Gas

British Gas is Britain’s leading energy supplier, and serves around 11 million homes in Britain – nearly half the country’s homes – as well as providing energy to around half a million British businesses. British Gas provides value for money, dedicated customer service, innovative energy solutions and the highest quality Homes Services expertise in the country. Find out more at

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