Learning programme flows into the North East

Learning programme flows into the North East


A new training and work experience programme is just the job to help young people in the North East get into work.

Northumbrian Water has joined forces with Siemens, with the support of the Energy & Utility Skills Group, to help provide valuable work experience for young people aged 16 to 24 who are not in education, employment or training (known as NEETs).

The nine week programme, which started this week (Monday September 28), offers the opportunity to develop valuable skills and behaviours, as well as practical training such as first aid, manual handling and CV writing, followed by extended work experience in various teams.

Ten young people signed up to take part in the scheme at Northumbrian Water’s Head Office in Pity Me, Durham, which also includes an activity day at Kielder Water & Forest Park in Northumberland.

Marissa Anderson, aged 24, said: “I joined the course because it seemed like the perfect opportunity for me to gain experience, knowledge and skills from a professional environment.”

According to Government figures out earlier this year, at 18.5%, the North East of England has the highest number of 16 to 24 year old NEETs in the country.

Northumbrian Water already reaches around 240 different educational organisations in the North East, by working directly with schools, colleges, universities and training providers, supplying learning materials and a good quality experience of work.

Last year, 202 employees also helped young people improve their employability, by volunteering in educational facilities through the utility company’s ‘Just an hour’ scheme.

‘Just an hour’ gives employees the opportunity to spend at least 15 hours of paid work time a year, improving local communities in the company’s supply area.

Since the scheme started in 2002, more than 100,000 hours have been given back across North East and the South East of England through Essex & Suffolk Water, its southern division.

Sophie Pickup, Learning & Development Manager at Northumbrian Water, said: “We play a very active role in helping young people to learn about and get ready for employment, working hard to grow the pool of young talent in our sector.

“By supporting the communities we serve through ‘Just an hour’, and providing sponsored placements and training opportunities, we’re able to deliver our commitment to help young people reach their potential, improving their career and life prospects.”

Northumbrian Water will also be recruiting more than 60 apprentices over the next five years.

For more information contact Janine Scott on 0191 301 6713.

Northumbrian Water and Siemens are involved in the Energy & Efficiency Industrial Partnership, a partnership of c90 utility and power sector organisations which have come together as an industry sector to lead the development of skills, with a focus on growth and competitiveness. There are currently eight partnerships covering the aerospace, automotive, creative, nuclear, digital, energy & efficiency, science and tunnelling (construction) industries.

Each industrial partnership is chaired by a major employer and is a platform for businesses of all shapes and sizes in the sector to define and influence skills priorities. Similar programmes have been run successfully by organisations involved in the partnership in the North West of England and are also being established in other English regions.

About Northumbrian Water Group
Northumbrian Water Group contains the following companies and divisions:
Northumbrian Water Limited (NWL) provides water and sewerage services in the north east of England under the brand name Northumbrian Water and water services in the south east under the brand name Essex & Suffolk Water. It serves 2.7 million people in the north with water and sewerage services and 1.8 million people in the south with water services.

About the Energy & Utility Skills Group (EU Skills)
The Energy & Utility Skills Group (EU Skills) is an employer-led membership organisation that helps ensure the gas, power, waste management and water industries have the skills they need now and in the future. Through a range of products and services, EU Skills helps employers attract new talent, develop their workforces, and assure a high level of competence across their businesses. For further information about EU Skills please visit www.euskills.co.uk

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