UK Power Networks has transformative power to contribute to a more open, diverse and inclusive society, starting from within the energy sector.
Employees with diverse backgrounds bring different perspectives, ideas and experiences, helping the company to become more resilient, innovative and effective as they support the transition to a Net Zero Economy.
Inclusive recruitment practices are one of the fundamental cornerstones to progressing the company’s Employee Diversity and Inclusion programme. As such, in 2021 UK Power Networks welcomed six paid interns from Urban Synergy, an award-winning early intervention mentoring charity that helps young people between 10-18 years of age to reach their full potential through mentoring, inspirational seminars and work experience.
Programmes like this and others, such as hosting a careers event for 300 young black men working with partners from the Greater London Authority (Workforce Integration Network Design Lab programme), helps UK Power Networks to reach under-represented groups and importantly start to spread the word that the utility sector is a place where everyone has the same access and opportunity.
There is much to do to ensure the sector attracts and retains diverse talent and the company’s targets in this area for the next price control period (known as ED2) to provide 100 paid internships over the period, acknowledge the need for this to be an enduring endeavour.
Syed, an Urban Synergy intern working in the UK Power Networks marketing team, explains what the internship meant to him: “Hearing about the experiences of the employees motivated me and gave me a clearer understanding of the working world. Joining team meetings gave me an amazing insight of what it feels like to be a real employee."