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Yorkshire Water launches biggest ever Apprenticeship scheme

Yorkshire Water launches biggest ever Apprenticeship scheme
Yorkshire Water apprenticeships will be creating 160 jobs over the next five years in the biggest scheme of its kind ever launched by the company.

The majority of the new positions will be in operational roles as Yorkshire Water looks to recruit the next generation of skilled colleagues to be at the heart of providing a crucial service to millions of people around the region.

Yorkshire Water’s Esholt waste water treatment works was the location for an event to mark the launch of the scheme today (Friday, January 23) and recruitment for the roles will commence in May.

With almost one in five (18.3%) 18-24 year olds across Yorkshire not in education, employment or training (NEETs), the Yorkshire Water apprenticeship is welcome news for the region.

The new skilled recruits will also ensure Yorkshire Water is prepared for a skills gap being predicted in the utility sector by 2025, partly caused by an ageing workforce.

Richard Flint, Yorkshire Water CEO, said: “Many people may not be aware just what a diverse range of skills we have within the company – from qualified engineers to geologists to our talented operators.

“In fact, we have some of the most skilled colleagues that you’ll find in any industry and it’s so important to us as a business that we look to preserve this specialist knowledge for the future.

“That’s why we are delighted to announce these 160 apprenticeships, it’s great news for young people and for the Yorkshire economy. Ours is a company that invests in its people and, having joined as a graduate myself, I know there are endless opportunities to progress and develop here.”

Stuart Andrew, MP for Pudsey, Horsforth and Aireborough, gave his backing to the scheme as he attended its launch. He said: “I am so pleased that Yorkshire Water are investing so much in apprenticeships.

“Since the election, there have been over 3000 more apprenticeships in the Pudsey, Horsforth and Aireborough area. With companies like Yorkshire Water realising the potential of apprenticeships, it is excellent news for our area, and I am proud to support the new scheme.”

While there will be a variety of opportunities in a number of different areas, the focus will be on skilled operational roles to prepare for the retirement of colleagues currently in those positions. This will ensure the technical capability remains high in Yorkshire Water’s workforce and the company’s reliable service continues.

The latest recruitment drive from Yorkshire Water will be on the back of recruiting 59 apprentices over the past five years.

Details about Yorkshire Water’s apprenticeship programme and information about the recruitment process can be found on our apprenticeship section.

Case Study 1 -  Jess Rickett

Jess Rickett joined Yorkshire Water’s four-year multi-skilled apprenticeship scheme as a 16-year-old straight out of school in 2012.

The scheme equips Jess with a broad range of electrical and mechanical skills, giving her the option to specialise in one particular area as she progresses.

Although she grew up and went to school in Bradford, Jess spent much of her first year working on Yorkshire Water sites in Halifax and is now based in the Huddersfield area.

Her work now involves routine maintenance at Yorkshire water’s sites in Huddersfield, Barnsley, Sheffield and Wakefield as well as responding to emergency issues.

Jess, 18, said: “I wanted to join this scheme because it’s given me the chance to do something a bit different that not many girls get into.

“I’m learning valuable skills every day and getting the chance to put them into practice. It really feels like I’m doing something which is important for Yorkshire Water.”

Case Study 2 - George Cowell

George Cowell joined Yorkshire Water as an apprentice on the company’s two-year Network Performance Engineer programme in 2011, gaining an NVQ Level 3 in Waste Water Engineering during the course of the scheme.

Along with the technical expertise acquired from this qualification, George also obtained day to day experience of the operation and maintenance of Yorkshire Water's vast network of assets before completing the scheme in 2013.

Now 22-year-old George, who is originally from Leeds but lives in Selby, works as a Network Performance Engineer for Yorkshire Water. His role makes him responsible for 50 Miles of coast line, from Staithes to Flamborough, and the company’s waste network bathing water assets.

George said: “When I finished my A-levels I had a choice to make between university and starting an apprenticeship. Because of my interest in engineering principles, I decided this scheme would be a great option for me.

“The programme put me in good stead for the real working environment of a large utility company, providing me with the technical expertise to do my job effectively.

“I’m really enthusiastic about my role – it’s fast-paced and no two days are the same. I oversee the work of five people and I look forward to seeing how my career develops at Yorkshire Water and the opportunities that may arise."

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