Skills Minister Robert Halfon MP and Thames Water celebrate National Apprenticeship Week
Thursday 9th February 2023 15:00
Skills Minister Robert Halfon MP and Thames Water apprentices
Skills Minister Robert Halfon MP has welcomed Thames Water’s commitment to creating jobs through apprenticeships and supporting T Levels, during a visit to Basingstoke sewage treatment works.
On February 9, the MP for Harlow met Thames Water apprentices during National Apprenticeship Week (6 – 12 February), which highlights the positive contributions that apprenticeships make to individuals, businesses and the wider economy.
T Levels are new courses that are equivalent to three A Levels and follow on from GCSEs. These two-year courses have been developed in collaboration with employers and businesses, so that the content meets the needs of industry and prepares students for work.
Thames Water is committed to increasing the diversity of its workforce by building a pipeline of skills from local communities and the education sector and by creating lifelong employment and learning opportunities for its employees.
As part of its Skills Strategy, the company has started supporting the new T Level qualification and has increased the number of apprenticeship pathways it offers from three to 32. These range from college level to degree level apprenticeships in a variety of roles from electrical and mechanical engineering to quantity surveying and project management.
From April 2021 to December 2022 over 230 people started an apprenticeship at the company. Applications for its 2023 apprenticeships, starting in September, opened on Monday 6 February.
Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education Robert Halfon said: “Thames Water is a skills and apprenticeships powerhouse, and the company’s ongoing commitment to investing in future talent was on display when I visited during National Apprenticeship Week.
“The company has not only taken on 230 apprentices in the last year, they are also supporting our roll-out of ground-breaking new T Levels qualifications, helping to achieve parity of esteem between academic and vocational education and extend the ladder of opportunity to people from all backgrounds.”
Lynne Graham, Thames Water People Director said: “Expanding our apprenticeship schemes and welcoming T Level students is crucial to our plans to build a pipeline of skills from our communities and from the education sector, to ensure we have a diverse and inclusive workforce that represents the customers we serve.
“As we continue to turnaround our business and improve our performance, we must ensure our people receive the right investment in skills development to have successful and sustainable careers. We’re excited to be offering further access to career opportunities to drive social mobility and provide good work for all.”
Ella Spackman, a Learning and Development Practitioner Apprentice at Thames Water, said: "It was great to meet the Minister and share the story of myself as an Apprentice and to also hear the other stories that were shared by the other Apprentices and T Level students across Thames. My Apprenticeship has made a huge impact on my development as it has taught me many new skills and helped me build my confidence. If you are considering an Apprenticeship within the water industry, I would highly recommend it."
T Levels offer students a mixture of classroom learning and ‘on-the-job’ experience during an industry placement of at least 45 days. They aim to provide the knowledge and experience needed to open the door into skilled employment, further study or a higher apprenticeship.
Find out more about Thames Water early careers and apprenticeships.