United Utilities launches its Aspiring Managers Programme 2018


In 2016 United Utilities partnered with Manchester Metropolitan University to develop its Aspiring Managers Programme, a four-year chartered degree apprenticeship in business management. Evolving its approach to succession planning has allowed United Utilities to unlock a wealth of potential by strengthening career-pathways for its emerging talent. In turn this has allowed the water company to develop further resilience within its workforce, enabling it to forecast and address requirements in key areas of the business.

The programme is also leading the way on the issue of gender balance with 40% female representation, a significant statistic in an operational environment that has traditionally struggled to attracted female talent.

Louise Beardmore, Customer Services & People Director, said: "We are delighted with the success of the programme. The quality and passion of the participants coming through is exceptional. We are also thrilled to see the move towards gender balance, having more female talent rising through these channels supports our aims to drive greater diversity within our business."

In order to qualify for the process candidates must show both capability as well as commitment, and as part of the course they not only need to undertake the degree apprenticeship, they also have to demonstrate they have been taking on extra responsibilities at work, expanding their in-house training and tackling additional challenging assignments.

The candidates are tasked with identifying and solving real challenges from around the organisation, Steve Fraser, United Utilities chief operating officer explains: "The students have worked on very tangible and practical projects and it’s great to see results that have a demonstrable impact on the business."

The Aspiring Managers Programme is one of several routes developed by United Utilities to develop and foster emerging talent within the organisation.