David Cameron yesterday unveiled the scheme for 1,000 ex-military personnel and young adults from deprived areas of the North West, during a visit to water provider United Utilities. He joined around 600 workers at the company’s Warrington base to launch the £115.5m scheme, which will see 136,000 people across the UK benefit from apprenticeships, careers advice, training support and work placements. Focusing initially on the North West, United Utilities will lead a group of 14 utility firms including Scottish Power, Amey, E.ON UK and Siemens on five pilot projects in Cheshire, Cumbria, Lancashire, Liverpool and Manchester. In total, utility companies across the UK are set to offer 1,000 people work placements and career support.
Above: Prime Minister David Cameron talks with apprentices (from left) Nicola Boyne, Isaac Byrne, Faiyaz Saleh and Head of Organisational Change and Development Louise Beardmore during his visit to United Utilities in Warrington to help unveil the Efficiency Industrial Partnership (EEIP) pilot scheme for North West England, which will aim to provide utility sector jobs for 1,000 ex-military personnel, and young adults from deprived areas
With an estimated 50 per cent of current employees set to leave the energy and utility sectors and 200,000 new recruits needed by 2023, the pilot projects will deliver qualifications that enable participants to get jobs in utilities and associated sectors. Young people who are not in education, training or employment (NEETs) will be fast-tracked into full-time work – fixing water pipes, electricity cables or working on huge gas projects. The North West was chosen to pilot the scheme because it has the third largest population of NEETs (young people who are not in education, training or employment) in England.
The scheme is the largest initiative within the Government’s flagship Employer Ownership of Skills pilot, which offers investment to develop sector workforces.
Louise Beardmore from United Utilities, said: “We are delighted to be involved in this bold, ground-breaking partnership. It will bring local communities across the North West of England, closer to their energy and utility companies.
“By working together across the utility industry and with the Government, we can grow the pool of young talent in our sector. Our approach to skills, training and apprenticeships is designed with these young people in mind.
The scheme is the largest initiative within the Government’s flagship Employer Ownership of Skills pilot, which offers investment to develop sector workforces.”
Aidan Brooks, Youth Programme Lead at Energy & Utility Skills, added:
“This pilot demonstrates how the Energy and Efficiency Industrial Partnership can fulfil its mission of ensuring that partner companies can access the skilled people they need into the future as well as offering real training and employment opportunities to individuals furthest from the job market. Partners can be proud that they are doing the right thing by their business, and by society more widely. Energy & Utility Skills looks forward to seeing the benefits of this pilot multiplied many times over by the wide range of Partnership initiatives underway.”
Simon Perryman, director at the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, which supports the programme, said:
“The work being carried out by United Utilities and more than 90 other companies in the energy sector is part of a new programme of industrial partnerships, being led by businesses to take responsibility for the development of the skilled people they need for growth. I’m delighted that UKCES has been able to support this programme, and look forward to seeing it develop to provide businesses with the talented people they need, and giving people in the region opportunities to develop their skills and careers.”