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United Utilities to take on new apprentices

United Utilities is looking to recruit 62 apprentices, in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

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. To help address this, United Utilities – which employs 5,000 people from Carlisle to Crewe – has relaunched its annual search for new talented scientific, technical and customer services recruits.

Head of HR & training delivery Louise Higgins said: “We wanted to relaunch our application window as apprenticeship opportunities have seen a steep fall due to the pandemic. Now more than ever we want to hear from people who traditionally might not have considered a job with their local water company.

“We offer an award-winning apprenticeship scheme with many interesting roles and we are a company with no barriers when it comes to getting to the very top.

“Our apprentices are all top-notch, and we would particularly welcome applications from women and those from ethnic and multicultural backgrounds. We aim to meet our aspirations of being a diverse workforce to become more representative of the communities we serve.

“We always recruit the best person for the job but the communities of the North West are very vibrant and diverse and we want to reflect this within United Utilities.”

Apprenticeships are critical to United Utilities to ensure the company has the right people and skills to run the organisation effectively in the future, with many previous apprentices who have come through the scheme now holding important jobs across the company.

For the first time, United Utilities will be taking on more than 20 apprentices specifically dedicated to tackling leaks.

“Tackling leakage is one of the biggest challenges we face as a company. Over the coming five years we plan to invest £290 million to reduce leakage and our new apprentice Leakage Technicians, will play a pivotal role in meeting the targets we have set,” Higgins added.

Successful candidates will have the opportunity to learn through ‘on the job training’ and classroom-based training leading to sought after qualifications and standards, as part of a three-year programme.

The company has a good retention rate, with 98% of apprentices moving into permanent roles across the business upon completion of their apprenticeship.

Topic: Skills & workforce

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