South London students get skills boost

South London

12 young people from under-represented backgrounds in South London are getting the chance to develop their employability skills through a new training programme by UK Power Networks.

The students, 16 to 18 years old, participating through youth empowerment charity Urban Synergy, are spending a month at the energy firm completing the DREAM programme, developing skills they could use for future employment. This is part of Urban Synergy’s e-mentoring programme.

The group is working across various departments in the company, including asset management, employee engagement, communications and procurement. Upon completion, trainees will be rewarded with certificates and receive further mentorship to boost their job prospects and confidence.

Justin Adekunle, 18, from Bromley has been offering help to colleagues and says: “I’m excited to have the opportunity to be able to network, build my CV and learn new skills, which will help me in the world of work in the future. This is a great opportunity and I’m thankful to Urban Synergy and UK Power Networks for the opportunity.”

Jazz Chaggar, Talent Acquisition Manager at UK Power Networks, comments: “This four-week internship programme will allow these young students the opportunity to build their skills in the areas they choose, as well as learning how to cope in a fast-paced environment. Working in teams and collaborating with employees will enable them to experience real life working situations.”

“We are always working hard to do more and our relationship with Urban Synergy is a perfect example of this. All companies have a responsibility to ensure equal opportunities for all and we think that a vibrant workforce, from diverse backgrounds, enables a whole range of fresh ideas and perspectives to emerge, reflecting the community we serve.”

Leila Thomas, CEO and Founder of Urban Synergy, adds: “We prepare young people with the skills and mindset they need for the workplace, but opportunities like this DREAM programme, offered by UK Power Networks, are essential for young people to understand how to navigate the world of work, discover what they enjoy, and help them to decide their future career pathways.”

UK Power Networks signed up to Levelling Up to promote opportunities, and also runs an apprenticeship programme to bring in new talent for its future workforce. The company is set to employ 14 new apprentices next month (September) to help deliver electricity across London, the South East and East of England to 8.4 million customers. They will be a part of the company’s operational teams that deliver safe and reliable power supplies, enabling electric vehicles and electric heating for a low carbon future.

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