ScottishPower expects to invest over £5bn to upgrade the electricity network in central and southern Scotland over the next 10 years, and is launching a recruitment drive to boost its engineering and technical workforce by creating 300 new roles. ScottishPower Chairman Ignacio Galán made the announcement today at the company’s training headquarters in Cumbernauld with First Minister Alex Salmond.
These 300 engineering and technical roles with ScottishPower include full-time positions in System Design, HVDC development and engineers to manage the Transmission and Distribution Networks. There will be a focus on increasing the number of young people within the Company with a third of the jobs earmarked for apprentices and graduates to help encourage the next generation of engineers into the industry. It is anticipated there will be around 50 new apprenticeships created and the graduate programme will look to take in at least 50 new graduates by 2013.
ScottishPower needs the new generation of engineers to deliver the most important upgrades to the electricity network in over half a century, but at the same time the energy industry is facing an impending skills gap. Four out of five energy industry employees are set to retire over the next 15 years*. In this time more than £200bn will be invested in the UK energy sector, with tens of thousands of engineers required to deliver the work.
To address this skills gap , ScottishPower is also investing £6.5 million in grassroots skills development between 2011 and 2013. This investment will range from developing pre-apprentice schools programmes, to establishing technical partnerships with colleges and universities, all the way through to the sponsorship of specialist post graduate scholarships.
Ignacio Galán, Chairman of ScottishPower, said: “The move to the low carbon economy, from modern and efficient electricity networks to new renewable energy generation will be a catalyst for economic growth and job creation. Overall, we are projecting investments totaling £12 billion in the UK over the course of this decade and it is vital we do all that we can to encourage people to develop the skills required to take advantage of these investments.
“We are announcing 300 skilled jobs today, in an industry where workers will have lifelong development opportunities. Our aim is to ensure that school children and those at college and university see this kind of skilled employment as an attractive option. Engineers are retiring every day and we want to see the next generation of workers knocking on our door to fill their places.
“We were encouraged that the Scottish Government recently announced their desire to deliver 25,000 modern apprenticeships each year as part of their Youth Employment Strategy. This will certainly be part of the solution to help an industry like ours bridge its skills gap.”
First Minister Alex Salmond said: "Three hundred new high-skilled jobs for Scotland's energy sector is very encouraging news indeed. Scottish Power's £6.5 million commitment is further proof of the continued long term investment by global companies in Scotland's fast growing renewables industry.
"Scotland's energy sector has the potential to reindustrialise this country and provide work for tens of thousands of Scots in the years to come. This kind of investment in training is critical to create the new generation of skilled workers to power our low carbon future - and it's something that is also a top priority for the Scottish Government.
"We know how important it is to equip our young people with these skills, which is exactly what's behind our commitment to deliver 25,000 modern apprenticeships, a record number, every year over the lifetime of this parliament.
"Working in partnership with major private sector investors like Scottish Power is vital in pursuing these goals. Their investment announced in Cumbernauld, against global competition, is a demonstration of just how optimistic they are for Scotland's future and the key role we are playing in developing the burgeoning energy market across these islands and beyond."
Frank Mitchell, CEO of ScottishPower Energy Networks, said: “The search starts today. We need 300 power engineers of all levels and experience to begin working on some of our major projects that will completely modernise the electricity grid in Scotland. In order to fill these positions we will also be seeking to hire workers from other industries, including the offshore sector and the armed forces and offering to retrain them.
“In the longer term, we will need many more workers to join our industry straight from school or university. As well as investing more than £6m on grassroots skills development, we will be working closely with the Government and with educational establishments in the coming years to encourage the development of more engineers.”
Media information: Simon McMillan 0141 614 4582 / 07753 622 257
Notes to Editors
50 APPRENTICES POSITIONS
Qualifications - Ambitious, hard working, flexible, ability to work at heights and within confined spaces . Will have at least 3 GCSEs or equivalent at level 3/grade C or above in English, Mathematics and a Science subject. They will also need to be a highly motivated team player with a positive attitude and a willingness to learn.
Apprentice Benefits - All ScottishPower apprentices follow a nationalised Power Industry framework which includes a Certificate and Diploma in Electrical Power Engineering.
After completing the apprenticeship programme the following roles will be available
- Electrical fitter
- Electrical jointer
- Overhead linesperson
The company offers a highly competitive salary with the potential for a yearly increase based on performance. There are also significant additional benefits from a pension through to additional voluntary benefits and the opportunity to join a global company making significant financial investment in its future in Scotland.
50 GRADUATES POSITIONS
Qualifications - ScottishPower is looking for individuals who hold or expect to qualify with a minimum of a 2:2 Honours degree in Electrical or Mechanical Engineering and who are innovative, self motivated and strong team players. The Graduate Programme offers the opportunity to receive superb, hands-on technical training as well as personal development while working towards Chartered Engineer status with institutions such as the IET. This programme will run within the Energy Networks business and has a start date of September 2012. The company is also for a small number of non-Engineering Graduates; specifically Quantity Surveying Graduates who hold or expect to qualify with a minimum 2:1 Honours degree, and Economics Graduates, again with a current or expected 2:1 Honours degree in Economics or Accounting.
Graduate benefits - Hands-on technical training as well as personal development while working towards Chartered Engineer status with institutions such as the IET. ScottishPower pays a highly competitive slary with the potential for a yearly increase based on performance. There are also significant benefits and the opportunity to join a global company making significant financial investment in its future in Scotland. The roles available to graduates on completion of the Graduate Development Programme are varied and offer a graduate the opportunity to grow into senior engineering roles.
200 ENGINEERING POSITIONS
Qualifications - Engineers at ScottishPower cover a diverse range of specialist technical areas. ScottishPower is looking for people who have experience of the energy sector as well as those from other industries. ScottishPower will offer candidates with the appropriate core skills and the right behaviours, the opportunity to grow their skills through the company’s training and development programmes to fit the roles the company needs.
Some of the roles are highly specialised and others are much more general. The range of positions being offered means that ScottishPower is inviting anyone with an Electrical Engineering degree to apply for the roles. Engineers with experience in the Oil & Gas sector and the Armed Forces or other related industries should also apply.
Engineers benefits - Engineers will be joining a global company making significant financial investment in its future in Scotland; we offer training & development opportunities at ScottishPower’s £10million training facility in Cumbernauld. ScottishPower offers a competitive benefits package.
*Figures from the National Skills Academy for Power (NSAP)
HOW TO APPLY
ScottishPower’s Apprentice and Graduate programmes will open for applications in early March and the Company is inviting interested candidates to apply to its jobs site: www.scottishpower.jobs
This site will contain information on the training programmes, the benefits provided and further application details.
Applicants can also find updates on currently active vacancies on www.scottishpower.jobs and at www.spenergynetworksjobs.com The new roles will appear on these sites as they are released, so ScottishPower asks candidates to keep an eye on these sites for the latest information. Candidates can also register their interest with ScottishPower, so if they hold a qualification in Electrical Engineering and would like to be considered for a future role in ScottishPower, they are requested to please register their details on the ScottishPower site.