HRH The Prince Charles, The Duke of Rothesay, met with Head Teachers from across Ayrshire on Sunday (20th January) to help encourage more school children to consider a career in engineering. ScottishPower helped to facilitate the event at Dumfries House near Cumnock, as part of the company’s long-term strategy to support the engineers of tomorrow.
ScottishPower is seeking to deliver £3.6bn of investment in the next two years to upgrade Scotland’s electricity infrastructure and develop new renewable energy projects, but at the same time four out of five energy industry employees set to retire over the next 15 years*. In the next decade the company aims to create around 1500 new jobs, including major recruitment of apprentices and retraining of under-25’s into highly skilled jobs in over the next decade.
The energy company outlined its need for new for new engineers with The Duke of Rothesay and the Head Teachers, and discussed the range of programmes it has put in place to encourage new entrants in to the energy industry.
Amongst a range of programmes, ScottishPower has been working with Dumfries College and its contractor CIET to develop a 12 week course designed to allow out-of-work people in the local area to re-train and acquire the skills to become an overhead linesman. It is hoped that a pilot can be rolled-out in the first half of 2013, with immediate jobs available on completion of the course.
Keith Anderson, ScottishPower Chief Corporate Officer, said: “We were delighted to help to facilitate the event with The Duke of Rothesay and the schools across Ayrshire, and we support the work His Royal Highness is carrying out to increase the profile of engineering as a desirable career choice for school children. Billions of pounds are being invested in the energy industry, and we need a new generation of engineers to deliver the major engineering projects that are required in the coming decades.
“ScottishPower has developed a range of programmes to help attract new talent to our industry, from graduate schemes to apprenticeships and re-training courses – all aimed at creating good, highly skilled, long-term employment. Working with partners will be crucial to helping us find this new talent, so the work we do with institutions like Dumfries College, and schools in the region, is extremely important.
“We would like to thank The Duke of Rothesay for the active role he is taking in promoting engineering as an attractive career, and for highlighting the importance of having future generations who have the required skills to deliver major infrastructure projects.”
Media information: Simon McMillan 0141 614 4582 / 07753 622257
*Figures from the National Skills Academy for Power (NSAP)
ScottishPower Education and Employment Schemes currently active include:
1. Apprenticeship Programme
ScottishPower Apprenticeship Programme
The Multi-Skilled Apprenticeship lasts for three years. The programme is aimed at young people with a minimum of the three GCSE’s/Scottish equivalent at grades A-C. Our Engineering Foundation Programme acts as a talent feed into the programme. In 2013 we aim to recruit a further 45 apprentices. In 2012 we recruited 32.
2. Engineering Foundation Programme
ScottishPower Engineering Foundation Programme
The UK wide programme is aimed at 16-18 year olds with 2 Standard Grades/GCSE’s or equivalent, in Maths, English or Science. The programme involves studying at a local college and spending a period of time on site with ScottishPower Engineers at their training centres in Cumbernauld & Hoylake. Students are sponsored throughout the programme and are also given the chance to further their personal skills by completing a First Aid qualification and gaining a Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award.
This year 12 participants successfully made the transition from our Engineering Foundation Programme and were offered a Power Industry Apprenticeship with ScottishPower. In 2013 we aim to recruit a further 42 students with our partner colleges, Edinburgh, Cardonald & West Cheshire.
3. Higher Level Apprenticeship
ScottishPower Higher Apprenticeship Programme
A number of pilots will be delivered across the sector in 2013 (led by the National Skills Academy for Power). ScottishPower will deliver a pilot consisting of 10 young people. The programme provides candidates with a fantastic way to realise their potential and become future Engineers in the Energy Networks business. Aimed at students with a minimum of 2 A-Levels/Highers it will last between 2-3 years combing a blend of academic and technical skills training with work-based learning assessment. Higher Level Apprentices will follow a full level 4 framework which will include the ‘new’ bespoke HNC Power. On completion of the apprenticeship apprentices will be in a position to become Design, Planning, Control or Project Engineers.
4. Dumfries College Project
The programme will initially be 6 weeks of technical training and 6 weeks of college based training. Scottishpower’s Learning & Development will initially support this 6 weeks technical training. This will allow the college to witness firsthand what will be required for future delivery of the technical training. We would envisage they would then source a technical trainer. The 6 weeks college theoretical delivery will be delivered by college lecturers. This initial 12 week programme will enable the learners to become ‘productive’ allowing them on-site and contributing to existing work for CIET. CIET will then develop and on-going training plan for the development of the learners.