School pupils, community youth group members and apprentices in Glasgow are all set to benefit from new opportunities to develop real skills that will help them find jobs and boost their career potential, thanks to a uniquely created partnership between ScottishPower, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and Glasgow City Council. The partnership is being backed by the Iberdrola Foundation, the charity arm of ScottishPower’s parent company, and has been established with the help of Scottish business leader and ScottishPower Board member, Sir Tom Farmer.
New funding from ScottishPower will mean that thousands of young people in schools and community groups across Glasgow are given the opportunity to take part in The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE). The UK youth charity has guided more than quarter of a million young people through personal development programmes, which seek to improve confidence, teach new skills and enhance employment prospects.
Additionally, the new partnership is also aiming to further boost the legacy of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games by offering all Council apprentices working on the Games the chance to develop additional skills and experience that will help their long-term employability prospects, with potential future career opportunities at ScottishPower and across the wider community.
Up to 600 apprentices will be given the chance to expand their knowledge base by taking part in learning programmes at the power company’s technical training centres where they can study to develop new skills that could open the door to a career in the energy industry. The company already employs over 4,000 people in Glasgow and recently announced that it is to create hundreds of new roles in engineering and construction to be based in the City. The company also established a new Offshore Wind Power unit in Glasgow, which will be home to hundreds of engineers working on one of the fastest expanding areas of renewable energy.
The demand for highly-skilled and highly motivated individuals in the energy sector continues to increase, and the company hopes that the apprentices will take advantage of the opportunities being made available.
Glasgow City Council is currently speaking to schools and community youth groups across the City to offer them the opportunity to do their DofE. There are already a number of schools in Glasgow whose pupils are doing DofE programmes, including Bannerman High in the City’s east End and Hyndland Secondary in the West End. However, the partners are working hard to achieve ambitious aims of encouraging up to a 500% increase in those who get involved and will make the development opportunities available to over 16,000 young people.
Nick Horler, ScottishPower CEO, said: “To date, ScottishPower has supported over 18,000 young people throughout the local communities in which we operate. Building on this significant achievement I am delighted to join this new partnership with The Duke of Edinburgh's Award and Glasgow City Council. This unique initiative will establish a platform from which young people can grow and develop their capability, no matter what their background.
“As a large employer in Glasgow we look for young people to join us who are self motivated, driven by achievement and have ambition. These are all the qualities that The Duke of Edinburgh's Award helps to develop in those that undertake and achieve an Award.
“ScottishPower and Iberdrola are committed to Glasgow and have announced hundreds of new positions in the City over the last few weeks. The energy industry is investing £200 billion in the coming years on major engineering projects to deliver a low carbon future whilst guaranteeing electricity supplies and the opportunities in our sector are vast.
“I look forward to seeing the achievements of those who participate in DofE programmes as they gain skills and knowledge required to secure employment in our industry and elsewhere.”
Peter Westgarth, CEO, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, said: “We are absolutely delighted that ScottishPower has chosen to support our charity. As a direct result of ScottishPower’s investment thousands more young people, many from disadvantaged backgrounds are able to take part in the DofE. By working together in Glasgow – the DofE and ScottishPower will have a significant and long term impact on the skills of young people in Scotland leaving a positive legacy way beyond 2014.”
Councillor Paul Rooney, Executive Member for Education at Glasgow City Council, said: “I am delighted to welcome this support from ScottishPower.
“Thanks to the partnership of public and private sector, young people in Glasgow from all social backgrounds will benefit from much-needed services. Together we can give the younger generation who choose to do their DofE a real future.
“The new skills they will learn, and the challenges they will have to overcome to achieve an Award, are a vivid demonstration of their commitment to their community.
“It is that commitment that will, I believe, benefit the whole city with more socially aware young people becoming involved in the many programmes that are part of the preparation for the Commonwealth Games in 2014.
”I am very proud that Glasgow City Council and ScottishPower are working together to provide genuine opportunities for the city’s young people.”
Sir Tom Farmer, said: “The DofE is the best self-development tool a young person can take part in. It produces confident, self-motivated, skilled young people and develops attributes so important to lead a positive adult working life. This is a great partnership that will have a huge real and lasting impact on the life chances of thousands of young people in Scotland.”
Notes to Editors:
Since 1996, Scottish Power's employability programmes have helped over 18,000 young, disadvantaged people in local communities. The positive, long term impact of ScottishPower’s work was recognised in July 2007 with a Silver Jubilee Award from Business in the Community, as well as several Big Ticks across its range of programmes.
The Iberdrola Foundation was founded in Madrid in 2002. In 2008 Manuel Marín González was appointed as Chairman, while Iberdrola Chairman Ignacio Galán was named Honororary Trustee. The Foundation is firmly committed to becoming a leading institution in fostering initiatives that contribute to improving people’s quality of life and promoting sustainable development. The Foundation’s activity focuses on three distinct areas: Energy Sustainability, Art and Culture, and Development Cooperation and Solidarity.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (http://www.DofE.org/)
Since 1956, The Duke of Edinburgh's Award has been dedicated to the personal development of young people from all backgrounds. With the widest reach of any UK youth charity, 275,000 young people (30,000 are from disadvantaged backgrounds) undertake inspiring DofE programmes to achieve Bronze, Silver or Gold Duke of Edinburgh's Awards every year. To date the charity has helped 4 million people in the UK and, thanks to over 120 sister organisations, 2 million internationally. The commitment, efforts and results were recognised in 2006, during the 50th Anniversary year, when her Majesty the Queen granted the charity Royal Charter status.
Media Information: Paul Ferguson 0141 566 4515 / 07702 665 924