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Thames Water to launch leading shared apprenticeships

Wednesday 6th October 2021 11:30

Two women wearing orange hi-vis and white hard hats

Thames Water is preparing to launch its shared apprenticeship scheme, believed to be the first of its kind within the UK’s utility sector.

The UK’s biggest water company has been collaborating with its supply chain on the innovative new scheme, which will increase the number of apprentices employed within the water industry and the diversity of its workforce.

The shared apprenticeship scheme will allow Thames Water to collaborate, share skills and talent with its supply chain. It will offer people in London and the Thames Valley, with an interest in working in the water sector, the chance to learn and get involved in the company’s infrastructure projects while gaining a nationally recognised qualification.

At the start of this year Thames Water launched its ambitious skills strategy to create jobs and boost access to careers in the water industry. The shared apprenticeship scheme is its latest commitment to support disadvantaged people within its communities, create sustainable employment, and offer life-changing opportunities.

Lynne Graham, Thames Water People Director said: “The shared apprenticeship scheme is the next step in our plans to build a pipeline of skills from our communities and education sector, and ensure we have a diverse and inclusive workforce that represents the customers we serve.

“We want to contribute to the creation of a fair society and tackle real challenges, such as digital skill shortages and in-work poverty, and ensure our people receive the right investment in skills development to have successful and sustainable careers. We’re excited to be working with our supply chain to provide these new apprenticeships and offer further access to career opportunities in the water industry to drive social mobility and provide good work for all.”

Thames Water will be working with the following partners from its supply chain: Lanes, Clancy, MWH and Morrison.

Kate Douglas, HR Director at Clancy, said: “We look forward to collaborating with Thames Water on initiatives such as the Shared Apprenticeship Scheme, which will help provide new and innovative ways of building talent pipelines for the future.”

The company is currently finalising the apprenticeships it will be offering but is planning to include qualifications in Project Management, Electrical Installation, Engineering Operative, Site Management, Quantity Surveying and Business Administration.

The first group of 20 apprentices on the scheme will be in place by March 2022. Thames Water is working with K10, an apprenticeship training agency, to deliver the apprenticeships and apprentices will be hosted onsite by various employers for a minimum of six months at a time.

This will give apprentices the opportunity to gain experience with a variety of industry leading employers. It also supports employers who wish to hire apprentices but might be unable to provide employment for the entire duration of an apprenticeship.

To help increase social mobility in London and the Thames Valley, Thames Water has signed up to the Care Leavers Covenant and 10,000 Black Interns Project, as well as the Ban the Box campaign to help ex-offenders access career opportunities in the water industry. The company has also joined the 5% Club, meaning it has committed to five per cent of its workforce being apprentices and graduates in the next five years.

Thames Water has recently boosted its commitment to help unemployed young people aiming to kickstart their careers during the pandemic. The company has recently doubled its 50 Kickstart placements under the government’s £2 billion Kickstart scheme to 100 opportunities.