Skills boost for students at power firm

Eight college students from under-represented groups have improved their career prospects thanks to a work experience programme by UK Power Networks.

The firm that keeps the lights on across London, South East and East of England has helped to boost the skills of students through its new two-week summer Powering Potential programme. Students were based across the company’s offices in Borehamwood, Croydon, Bidder Street, Crawley and Colchester.

One objective of the programme with STEM Learning was to research a 20-page report about how UK Power Networks responded to the unprecedented February storms and prepare a poster. Over the course of the two weeks the students met with employees from key business areas to find out how teams respond to a significant weather event including customer services, finance and innovation. Alongside this, students were able to visit field staff at work and participate in employability workshops.

Octavia Marshall, 16, from Uckfield says: “It’s been good to get out onto site and learn how stuff like transformers and substations work. I’ve learnt how the company distributes power from the grid to homes and businesses and it’s been a real learning experience for me.”

Liz Nash, Workforce Development and Partnership Lead, comments: “Two pillars of our company’s vision are to be a respected and trusted corporate citizen, and an employer of choice. A big part of those aspirations is to ensure that we are an accessible, inclusive employer and support the communities we serve.

“We aim to level the playing field for all, irrespective of where people are born. UK Power Networks’ aim is to support under-represented groups, with a particular focus on more rural communities that often get overlooked.”

UK Power Networks is ranked number one in Europe in the global Smart Grid Index and was also named first in London earlier this year for Best Big Companies to Work For.

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