At the opening of the Institute of Water’s annual conference on 22 September was the President’s Dinner and Awards. Every seat was booked in advance for what was the first Institute of Water event to take place since the first lockdown.
It was also the first event to feature newly-elected Institute of Water President Bob Taylor, who is also the CEO of Portsmouth Water and played host for the ceremony.
Four of the night’s awards were delivered by Energy & Utility Skills.
The Water Industry Skills Champion of the Year was Aleck Bruce of Northumbrian Water, who was exceptional in his leadership of the National Water Hygiene Group during the pandemic, gaining industry and regulator support of the importance of continued water hygiene training and assessment.
The Water Industry Skills Employer of the Year was Severn Trent Water, who have been developing their academy and leadership role with the Social Mobility Pledge for Water, along with their impressive Kickstart initiative of 500 per year and their investment in apprentices.
The Water Industry Training Organisation of the Year was Develop Training, who recently began delivery of apprenticeship training and are notable for having responded well to the on-programme delivery and working with their end-point assessment organisation to the benefit of the apprentices they supported.
Finally, the Award for Outstanding Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion in the Water Industry went to Thames Water. The inaugural winners for this year were selected for their clear commitment to improve the diversity of their workforce, and in their wider sector support of progress on inclusion.
Thames Water led the sector’s support of 10,000 black interns (with more due to join them for the 2021 cohort); were featured in the Times Top 50 Employers for Women; were the first sector employer to achieve Disability Confident Leader status; and are also rated as Carer Confident.
The company also committed 1,000 new hires in 2021 as part of Band the Box to support ex-offenders back into the workplace and have seen significant increases in roles for female and BAME staff, including within operational roles.
The awards were presented by Energy & Utility Skills CEO Phil Beach CBE, who said:
“I am delighted to have presented the four Energy & Utility Skills Awards at this year’s event, recognising those companies and individuals who value their people highly and ensure skills and diversity remain an important focus.
“Their achievements promote a resilient, skilled, diverse and sustainable workforce and encourage better long-term outcomes for their organisation, the sector and wider society.
“Congratulations to all this year’s winners.”
For a full list of winners at the event, visit the Institute of Water website.