Primary and secondary school.
Our long term talent pipeline starts with the work we do with primary schools, where we encourage children to think about science and technology through energising projects. Our work with secondary schools is more focussed, and we look to engage with students who could potentially become our employees.
We’re building our relationships with schools and colleges across our region, sponsoring the London Design and Engineering University Technical College, and supporting both Reading and Swindon University Technical Colleges, to promote science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects and inspire the next generation of Thames Water employees.
Last year, as part of our schools outreach programme, we visited more than 125 schools to deliver talks and activities to enhance learning about our business. Our community speaker programme, delivered by our employee volunteers, reached over 5000 students.
Our graduate programme.
Our graduate programme is all about creating future leaders. Last year we recruited 38 graduates onto this programme. Our graduates are given an opportunity to develop real leadership skills and professional technical qualifications. As part of the programme, each of our graduates is placed into a business role to ensure they get hands-on experience. They also play an important part in supporting our work with WaterAid, helping to raise valuable funds.
Our apprentice programme.
Integral to our pipeline for more technical roles is our successful apprenticeship programme, which we’ve been running for many years. Last year we welcomed another 37 apprentices. Through on and off the job learning, our apprentice programme helps us to ‘grow our own’ talent, developing skilled individuals to meet our future demand for technological expertise. All successful apprentices are guaranteed a job with us at the end of the programme, and we’ve seen many of them progress to senior levels within our company.
Providing further opportunities.
We’ve been driving our women’s leadership pipeline, and we sponsor two development programmes alongside women’s network groups. We’ve seen a number of promotions into our senior leadership roles and improvement in female representation across our grades. Within the year, 39 per cent of people promoted are female and 67 per cent of people promoted to executive positions are female; 30 per cent of our executive team is female.
Giving people a start.
Our Give Someone a Start (GSAS) work experience programme continues to be a success. GSAS offers those not in employment, education or training and those with mental and physical disabilities who may need extra support in finding a role, three weeks experience of working life at Thames Water. We have been supporting this programme for the past six years, with 21 per cent of people on the programme subsequently offered an interview with us.