United Utilities shortlisted for regional apprenticeship award

As we all continue to feel the effects of the coronavirus, North West based water company United Utilities has not only helped its current apprentices navigate through these uncertain times, but is helping to create opportunities for new recruits.

The work done by United Utilities has been recognised, with the company being shortlisted at the Apprenticeship Regional Awards 2020.

Head of HR Louise Higgins said: “Apprentices are one group across the country bearing the brunt of the economic crisis triggered by Covid-19, with many furloughed or even being thrown off their schemes.

“Many of our apprentices in their final year who had assessments and exams to complete when the country went into a national lockdown earlier this year, feared their future career prospects within the company would be severely delayed.

“Whilst all exams and further learning stopped or was postponed, we worked around the clock with the Energy & Utilities Independent Assessment Service, to provide a solution using technology and live streaming to ensure our final year apprentices completed their learning without any delays.”

This innovative approach meant United Utilities was the only company in the utility sector to live stream external assessments and the company has continued its creative thinking when looking to attract 62 new apprentices, aiming for more applications than ever from women and people from ethnic minority backgrounds.

“More than ever, levelling up skills is critical and we are proud to offer opportunities to a diverse range of people. We always recruit the best person for the job but the communities of the North West are very vibrant and diverse and as we aim to meet our aspirations of being a diverse workforce and become more representative of the communities we serve, we have partnered with The Launch Group to help us achieve this goal”, added Louise

Since 2013 United Utilities apprentice recruitment has grown by 77%, with 96% of apprentices moving into substantive roles across the business on completion of their scheme.