Severn Trent creates 300 new jobs to tackle customer pipe blockages and flooding even faster

Thursday 7th September 2023

Severn Trent has created 300 new jobs after bringing its customer waste teams inhouse – allowing the company to react even faster to pipe blockages and flooding.

Chief executive Liv Garfield welcomed aboard the new employees at a huge induction day at Birmingham Resorts World, telling them: “We are seen as a leader in the waste division and, with your help, we want to get even better.”

The reactive sewage services crews, whose work includes tackling pipe blockages and floods, officially joined Severn Trent from contractor Customer Solutions Plus (CSP) on September 1.

CEO Liv told the new employees that they would play a vital part in ensuring Severn Trent continues to deliver exceptional service for its eight million customers.

She said: “You’ve joined a company where every opportunity is yours. I’m looking forward to getting to know each person here.”

And Steve Betteridge, head of customer waste networks at Severn Trent, also welcomed the new staff. His department currently tackles around 2,480 customer blockages a month across the network, which contains around 93,000km of pipes. 

“You joining only us strengthens our position and makes our ambition to improve performance even further for our customers a reality,” he said.

“This move will help deliver the best possible service for our customers, with improved right first-time completion and reduced repeat work.

“It signals the beginning of a new era – and a new team.”

The insourcing means the formerly contracted service has been taken completely inhouse. The teams will now receive fresh training and new equipment including phones, computers and even trucks.

The insourcing was welcomed by the new teams.  

Jetting operative Abdul Hakeemyar, 50, said: “I was very pleased when the Severn Trent announcement was made. It’s good news for us as employees and also for the customers.

“Severn Trent is a great company. It offers a lot of benefits to staff, including a great pension which is really important these days.”

The Wolverhampton dad-of-two, a former tyre business owner, now plans to take advantage of the training opportunities available for all staff at Severn Trent.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing where my career can go at Severn Trent,” Abdul said.  “I’d love to get my Class 1 driving licence perhaps. It’s very exciting.”

Robert Slack, 41, had worked in technical support in Finham, Warwickshire, for 16 years and had joined Severn Trent alongside his son Jacob, 21, who is also a jetting operative.

“It’s a great day for me and Jacob and we’re very happy to be joining Severn Trent,” said the proud dad.

“It’s brilliant news for customers as well, as we’ll all now be pulling in the same direction, making the service for customers much swifter and faster.”

Jetting operative Tracy Monks, 53, was in no doubt about the benefits of joining Severn Trent.  “It’s well known that the company really looks after its employees and customers,” she said.

“There are so many benefits to working here,” said the mum of one, who also has three grandkids. “Being able to claim full pay if you are ever off sick is a great comfort.

“It provides the peace of mind, knowing if you ever go off sick, then you do not have to immediately worry about how you will pay the bills.

“The future is very exciting and I’m sure customers will also feel the benefit.”

Sheena Evans is one of the drivers in the reactive sewage services team. She recently celebrated her 50th birthday in Miami – and had another reason to celebrate at the NEC induction day.

After hearing about the training opportunities on offer at Severn Trent, she hopes that she can one day fulfil her dream of driving water tankers.

“I would love that,” said Sheena, as she enjoyed one of the free sausage butties on offer at the event.

“I was an agency carer for years but always wanted to be an HGV driver.

“I just love driving for a living, I even don’t mind being stuck in traffic.

“I’m just so glad we are now with Severn Trent – it’s great news.”

The new team brings additional resources to a wide range of waste management services, including:

*Customer blockage and flooding response

*Responding to potential pollution incidents

*And offering sewage CCTV investigations and cleaning.

The recruitment is part of a commitment from Severn Trent to create an extra 1,000 jobs, including the biggest ever intake of 130 new apprentices.