Water company taps into apprenticeships pipeline to future-proof business

Posted on by karen.smith

Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water apprentices James Wilden (left) and Josh Hoffman (right) with Chris Ames.

Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water apprentices James Wilden (left) and Josh Hoffman (right) with Chris Ames.

Future-proofing the company, addressing succession and a commitment to ensuring the best training possible for its workforce are reasons why Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water is committed to a dedicated talent programme.

In 2011, a new programme was introduced with the objective of addressing its ageing workforce and to supplement an emergent talent pipeline.

With more than 3,000 employees, Welsh Water is truly committed to their career development, offering continuous investment in recognising that people underpin everything the company does.

Since 2011, 87 apprentices and trainees have been employed. A further 23 apprentices and trainees were recruited as part of the 2016 Talent Search programme.

This investment in training and development has resulted in the company being shortlisted for Large and Macro Employer of the Year award at this year’s Apprenticeship Awards Cymru, which take place at Venue Cymru, Llandudno on October 20.

Jointly organised by the Welsh Government and the National Training Federation for Wales (NTfW), the prestigious awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of individuals, employers and learning providers who have excelled in contributing to the development of the Welsh Government’s Traineeships, Jobs Growth Wales and Apprenticeship programmes. The Awards are sponsored by Pearson PLC and supported by media partner, Media Wales.

The Apprenticeship Programme is funded by the Welsh Government with support from the European Social Fund.

Working with training providers across Wales, Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water provides a structured programme with role and product specific training.

Each apprentice and trainee has a dedicated on site buddy, as well as development days every six months to focus on personal effectiveness and soft skills training. This approach ensures the apprentices and trainees are equipped with the right knowledge and skills to apply themselves in the workplace.

As a result of the programme, the company has a 100 per cent conversion rate of apprentices and trainees that complete their training and move into a permanent post.

Jodie King, head of talent development, said: “To achieve our vision ‘to earn the trust of our customers everyday’ we will continue to attract, develop, motivate and retain productive and engaged employees. The goal of our Talent Search programme is to provide a pipeline that supports a sustainable high-performance company.”

Wales’ Minister for Skills and Science Julie James congratulated Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water and the other 32 shortlisted award finalists. “We are proud to be delivering one of the most successful apprenticeship programmes in Europe with success rates in Wales remaining well above 80 per cent,” she said.

“Developing skilled people is vital for our economy. We have some truly exceptional apprentices here in Wales and the Apprenticeship Awards Cymru provide a perfect platform for us to celebrate their hard work and achievements. Equally important are the learning providers and employers who go the extra mile to support their apprentices.”

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