A workforce for now and tomorrow
Investing in our people and developing skills

Our purpose means we are committed to making sure that Northumbrian Water Group continues to be a great place for people to work, and being the best employer that we can. That way we can continue to attract the best people to come and work for us, help them to develop their potential and help us deliver the very best service for our customers.

 

We employ over 3000 people, and we're always looking for the best ways to develop our employees further. To keep the water flowing, we've got a lot of roles and responsibilities (take a deep breath!):

  • scientists
  • engineers
  • information services
  • field services
  • customer services
  • legal services
  • marketing
  • HR
  • supply chain management
  • financial services
  • corporate affairs
  • and that's just scratching the surface!

This means we have to constantly invest in the skills, training and experience of our employees. Through apprenticeships, research partnerships, sponsored PhD placements, NGO relationships and much more we invest heavily in our greatest asset – our people.

 

We also recognise that this means having a workforce who think and are different – diversity is our strength. Therefore we are proud to be a signatory to the Social Mobility Pledge, a Disability Confident employer and a Stonewall Diversity Champion.

 

Our efforts have been recognised when we were named as one of the ‘best companies′ to work for in the UK – receiving national recognition for being a top employer by securing a spot in the 2019 Sunday Times 25 Best Big Companies to Work For list. This recognition would not be possible without our amazing employees, who every day go above and beyond to help make it a great place to work.

An inclusive employer
Creating an inclusive place to work for every one of our 3000 employees is really important and by achieving greater workforce diversity so we are reflective of the communities we serve, we can ensure that we have the greatest mix of skills in the business so we can make better decisions, create more innovative ideas and provide the very best service to our customers all day, every day.

 

We are proud to be members of the Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Campaign with our Chief Executive, Heidi Mottram, being a signatory of the WISE 10 steps. We are a Stonewall Diversity Champion and a Disability Confident Committed employer and these partnerships ensure we can learn from experts and other organisations to ensure we are creating an inclusive environment across the whole business, where our people feel valued, respected and listened to. With Ethical being one of our core company values, from the very start of a career with us, our employees receive inclusion awareness as part of our corporate induction programme. All of our leaders also receive inclusion and diversity training as part of our Leadership and Management Development Programme and throughout the year we raise awareness and educate all of our people through our Wellbeing and Inclusion Calendar which includes dates such as Pride Awareness, International Women In Engineering Day and National Inclusion Week.

Energy & Utilities Skills (EU Skills) Partnership
Northumbrian Water Group is part of the Energy & Utilities Skills (EU Skills) Partnership, a group of that aims to help fill the need to employ a total of 221,000 new recruits into the sector by 2027.

 

With 26 partners from across the energy and utilities sector, we’re aiming to tackle future skills shortages to ensure we can continue to give customers the service they expect and deserve.

 

At NWG, we are playing our part, working with partners and a range of other organisations to deliver apprenticeships and other routes into the sector. We also work in schools to educate young people about water and also to enthuse them about our industry, so they see the varied and exciting careers available within the utilities sector.

 

The Partnership’s vision is: “Through our partnership, we will ensure a safe, skilled and sustainable workforce provides the essential services that our customers seek and meets the UK’s needs from the energy and utilities infrastructure.”

 

Working together we set three priorities for the sector:

 

Priority 1: Sector attractiveness and recruitment − to increase our future talent pool

The objective is to broaden the talent pool through demonstrating the attractiveness of our sector, inspiring and attracting new talent in a highly competitive recruitment environment.

 

Priority 2: Maximising investment in skills – investment made by asset owners and their supply chain

We will maximise the sector’s investment in skills, securing commitment for further investment in skills from asset owners and their vital delivery partners, and building a sustainable pipeline of apprenticeships. We will ensure that the people who are recruited can acquire the required skills, proficiencies and behaviours quickly and effectively and that existing employees are motivated by opportunities for upskilling and progression.

 

Priority 3 Targeted action – to address anticipated skill gaps and shortages

We will take targeted action to tackle the challenges and issues already recognised and prioritised by our Council of Energy and Utilities Chief Executives.

 

You can find out more here – and read the Skills Strategy here.

STEAM at the Innovation Festival
Included in the activities run those that are specifically aimed at inspiring young people to consider careers related to science, technology, engineering, art or maths (STEAM).

 

Those taking part in the activities, which were being supported by the Reece Foundation and Esh Group, will be aged from 8 into their early 20s. The support of these partners ensures the activities can be offered to schools free of charge.

 

A range of activities and workshops will be take place throughout the week including:

 

  • Sessions led by the Centre for Life will see young people building bridges and testing them to destruction or programming robots so that they'll move remotely.
  • Working with Laughology to run Skills for Success workshops, offered a fun opportunity to learn about really valuable life skills. Laughology's approach to learning, development and thinking uses humour and happiness as a foundation and has proved very impactful with children and adults.
  • Additionally, in partnership with Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children's Books, young people were able to find out how to make a really effective point or argument using story telling techniques and discuss the issues of single use plastic, with artist and environmental activist, Diane Watson.
  • A three day workshop with Fix it Café focusing on fixing skills for everything from clothes to electronics, that would otherwise go to landfill, supported the Innovation Festival's zero waste message and gave young people valuable skills.  Gateshead College shared how to set up your own business with the students.
  • A mothers' and daughters' workshop brought people together from a range of organisations to give a taster of the breadth of opportunities in the North East using STEM skills. Fathers and sons were welcome too, but as there are still many fewer girls choosing STEM careers than boys, raising awareness amongst girls is a priority.
  • Sixth formers, college and university students were invited to find solutions to some of the same challenges as the adults on site. A great opportunity for them to learn, network and gain a really different experience for their CV.

 

We intend to give young people an enjoyable and memorable time and try to make the prospect of work less daunting by highlighting that they already have the foundations of skills that people use in their jobs every day which they can build on and practice. We'd love some of them to be inspired to follow a STEAM related career and come back to the Innovation Festival in future years.

 

As we, and our sponsors, are passionate about encouraging girls to take up STEAM careers, we'll make sure it is crystal clear that women find STEAM careers enjoyable and worthwhile as well as men.  

 

The Festival has also created opportunities for a number of students to gain work experience. They will be involved in all sorts of activities including supporting the Northumbrian Water Communications team on site with photography and journalism, as well as supporting the co-ordination of health and wellbeing activities and the smooth running of the Festival. We're aiming to get as many young people involved as possible.

Sunday Times 25 Best Big Companies to Work For 2019
Northumbrian Water received national recognition for being a top employer by securing 19th place in the 2019 Sunday Times 25 Best Big Companies to Work For list.

 

The company scored particularly well for encouraging employees to ‘Give Something Back′ to their local communities with 91% of respondents agreeing that Northumbrian Water Group encourages charitable activities.  All employees are given a minimum of 15 hours paid time to volunteer in their local communities.  85% of respondents also believed they could make a valuable contribution to the success of the organisation and 82% agreed that people in their team go out of their way to help them.

 

The Sunday Times 25 Best Big Companies to Work For survey measures employee engagement across a range of factors, including wellbeing, pay and benefits, personal growth and leadership.

 

The independent survey gives employees the chance to rate their employer and over 75% of Northumbrian Water Group′s employees took part in the survey giving their views.

The Social Mobility Pledge
We have put Social Mobility at the heart of our Purpose by committing to the Social Mobility Pledge.

 

The pledge makes clear that we will partner with schools or colleges to provide coaching through quality careers advice, enrichment experience and/or mentoring to people from disadvantaged backgrounds or circumstances. Beyond this we will also provide structured work experience and/or apprenticeship opportunities to people from disadvantaged backgrounds or circumstances.

 

We will also adopt open employee recruitment practices which promotes a level playing field for people from disadvantaged backgrounds or circumstances.

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