Feeding the pipeline: Water companies team up to tap into future talent
- Credit: Archant
The region's biggest water companies have revealed plans to come together to tap into the talent of the future.
Anglian Water and Essex & Suffolk Water are among the utilities firms collaborating in an attempt to boost the talent pool for an industry which is estimated to need 221,000 new recruits over the next decade.
The Energy & Utilities Skills Partnership has been formed to devise a strategy assessing the industry's challenges, the measures in place to deal with them, and how they can be improved.
Anglian Water estimates a third of its workforce will retire in the next 10 years, and needs to enthuse youngsters about careers in the utilities industry.
Chief executiv Peter Simpson said: 'Without action, the UK's STEM skills gap could bring our country and economy to a grinding halt. This is why we're working hard to inspire a future generation – the engineers, architects, scientists and managers of tomorrow – and make the sector more attractive to young people.'
The partnership brings together water, power, gas, wastewater and waste management industries.
It has already set up the Talent Source Network, a 12-month pilot scheme targeting hard-to-reach potential recruits, former service personnel and those who want to retrain from similar industries such as oil and gas.
- 1 Rare insect spotted in Norfolk for first time in nearly 100 years
- 2 ‘Porn addict’ Norfolk doctor who secretly filmed women struck off
- 3 Norwich street named one of the most beautiful in the world
- 4 Seven people arrested after 50 vehicles stopped by police at Thickthorn
- 5 Crumbling coast fear means Norfolk's 'golf ball' radar must be moved
- 6 Enjoy afternoon tea onboard a steam train in Norfolk this summer
- 7 Pub gets dozens of calls asking - 'Do you know there's a dog on your roof?'
- 8 City chip shop might be SINKING but refuses to close
- 9 Trains returns to railway station for first time in decades
- 10 Football club fined and chairman suspended over FA breaches
To encourage youngsters to choose careers in the industry, Anglian Water sponsors a technical college in Peterborough, but it has also removed the upper age limit on its apprentice programme, in an attempt to attract those looking for a second career.
It has invested in promoting the Women in Engineering initiative and runs education teams which speak to 20,000 children a year.
Its education centre in Colchester has had 10,000 children through the doors over the past 10 years to learn about how water relates to science, engineering, technology and the natural world.
Heidi Mottram, Essex & Suffolk Water chief executive, said: 'Our sector is changing at a rapid pace. Innovation and emerging technologies are shaping new developments and new ways of delivering our service.
'Artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and digitisation are setting the agenda for change and we need people with the right skills to help us take advantage of these emerging opportunities.'