Northumbrian Water has teamed up with a specialist apprenticeship and careers organisation to help two young people find roles on the Government’s Kickstart Scheme.

Anya Smith and Connor Martin, both from the Durham area, will be supporting the business to develop automated processes, and will be learning about and documenting existing ways of working. They will each work with a team of experts in the field, as well as analysts, to get the most from the experience.


The company has found roles for two young people to gain experience, training and skills as Trainee Robotic Process Automation Developers, as a result of its relationship with School of Automation. In these roles, they will help the company to develop automated ways to deal with high volumes of routine information processes.


School of Automation supported Anya and Connor’s recruitment through an assessment centre,and provided them with training to help them better support the business.


The water company has already filled 16 of its 37 placements on the programme, which helps those who take part to get into the job market, by gaining six months of valuable work experience and a qualification.


The roles being offered by Northumbrian Water include positions in administration and information services, as well as operational posts.


While receiving training and equipment for the role, all of the “Kickstarters” will also leave with a Level 1 qualification in Occupational Studies and a Level 2 certificate in Customer Service at the end of the placement.


Further placements are being offered through Jobcentre Plus.


Alex Brennan, Talent Manager at Northumbrian Water, said: “It’s great to have had the support of School of Automation to bring Anya and Connor onboard, but we would say to anyone who is interested to get in touch with Jobcentre Plus and put themselves forward.


“The Kickstart Scheme is a fantastic opportunity to support young people, and it’s really exciting to be involved.


“We’ve already welcomed 16 amazing young people into Northumbrian Water as part of Kickstart, and we have 21 places still available. It’s such a pleasure to be able to give this opportunity to people and we know that they will really give something back, in terms of their work for us, and hopefully by going on to exciting careers.”


Marc Cooper, Chief Executive of the School of Automation, said: "School of Automation are delighted to partner with Northumbrian Water to support their Kickstart employees to train and upskill in Robotic Process Automation. The skills and ability to use software to automate manual and repetitive tasks are very much sought after and will give these individuals a springboard to an exciting career as an RPA developer."