We are passionate about investing in young people and in our local communities. Our early careers opportunities are focused on attracting talent for our core operational and technical roles and for key emerging skills such as digital and green jobs.
Shahbaz, a process controller apprentice who joined us in September 2021, is enjoying the variety an apprenticeship brings. He’s developing new skills and says he’s proud to work for a company that values diversity and inclusion. “From my first day, I have felt welcomed and part of a large extended family” he said. “The company’s stance on diversity and inclusion is amazing to see and be part of. Issues raised aren’t just listened to; they’re actually heard, and small things like being offered a halal packed lunch on my training course make me feel included.”
We have continued to build on our award-winning apprenticeship schemes, significantly increasing our range of apprenticeships to align to core operational roles and address future skills gaps. We have created eight pathways for green jobs, a total of 31 apprenticeship vacancies for 2022/23, and these new roles will support our ambition to become carbon neutral by 2030. We went from eight apprenticeships in 2017 to 26 in 2022.
We have continued to build on our award winning apprenticeship schemes, significantly increasing our range of apprenticeships to align to core operational roles and address future skills gaps.
New apprenticeships pathways created include Systems Thinking, digital user experience, cyber security and data scientists.
We are pioneering a new Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) apprenticeship, and twenty-two-year-old Gabi Ord is our first HGV apprentice. Gabi has completed many hours of training, including fuel-efficient driving and handling an excavator and telehandler – skills she needs in her role transporting sludge cake from wastewater treatment works to farmers and landowners. “Gabi is now performing to a really high standard in terms of safe driving style and fuel efficiency” said her manager, Martin Shaw. “She has set a high benchmark for any future apprentices that follow.”
We are supporting those traditionally overlooked groups in our communities, with 44 per cent of the young people we recruited onto the Government’s Kickstart Scheme now transitioning into employment. A further six Kickstarters are currently being supported with applications for our award-winning apprenticeships. One of them, who has recently started an apprenticeship in our customer services department, shared the support she’s received: “I find that, having dyslexia, it can get quite tiring” she said. “However, I’ve been given a screen for my monitor, documents are printed off for me, and everyone I meet is so helpful – putting things across in a simple way so I can fully understand.”