Severn Trent announces 100,000 hours of free employability training to support communities following covid-19

Tuesday 18th May 2021

Severn Trent has today announced it will be providing 100,000 hours of free employability training over the next two years to support the regions recovery following Covid-19.

At an event hosted at its brand new training Academy, the company committed to providing its customers and communities with skills, training and meaningful work placements, to help get more people back into work post-pandemic.

The Academy, that was opened earlier this month by Prime Minister, Boris Johnson MP and is part of the company’s wider £10m investment into learning and development, will be vital in allowing the company to deliver this commitment, as it will be opening its doors to welcome in local communities.

Today the company welcomed The Mayor of West Midlands Andy Street, along with members of Ofwat, and the local community who had the chance to meet with the company’s Kickstarters to learn more about how the company is providing opportunities for young people in the region.

Liv Garfield, Chief Executive at Severn Trent said: “Coronavirus has massively affected our customers in a number of ways, and unemployment and job opportunities is just one of them. We know we can change that, which is why we’re so excited to announce that we’ll be opening our doors to our Academy to provide valuable skills and training in a variety of ways, helping to get more people back into work.

“Young people in particular have been hugely affected by the pandemic, which is why our Kickstarter programme will really play a big role in delivering this commitment for us, and we’re really leading the way in supporting our communities by providing valuable work placements and training to young people across the region.”

Severn Trent has committed to taking on 500 Kickstarters this year on six-month work placements to support young people at risk of long term unemployment, back into work. 

“As well as through Kickstarter programme, we’ll be delivering the 100,000 hours of community training in a number of ways to support communities, and their circumstances,” adds Liv. “We’ll be running sessions that are available to absolutely anyone, and we’re confident that these community training sessions will allow us make a difference to those who need it, as we will be opening the doors to our facilities so people can develop new skills, and gain confidence after what’s been a really difficult year.”

Severn Trent say the community sessions will be a mix of workshops that are run at its Academy, as well as virtual offerings, making it more accessibility for people to learn. 

The sessions will be run by the company’s own learning and development team, who will now not only be training its people, but customers too.

The company also announced earlier this week that through its Green Recovery plans, its set to create up to 2,500 jobs in the region, after Ofwat provisionally agreed its ambitions to help the Midlands bounce-back post-covid.

“We truly believe that our Academy will really help make a tangible difference, supporting our customers and communities as we begin the recovery from lockdown and the pandemic,” adds Liv. “Given everything that’s happening at the moment, this is one of the key ways we, as a responsible company, can help make a real difference. Whether it’s through joining our Kickstarter or apprentice programme, or simply joining us for a one hour CV skills workshop one evening, we’re committed to supporting our communities and helping as many people as possible get back on their feet.”

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “It was fantastic to see for myself how Severn Trent’s Academy is helping local young people and the wider community to gain jobs and skills, giving them a great start for a new career. This is a wonderful example of a West Midlands employer helping residents who have sadly lost their jobs during the pandemic to get back into work through retraining. 

“In particular, Severn Trent’s commitment to the Kickstart scheme means hundreds of youngsters will gain valuable placements and training, plus opportunities to gain apprenticeships, while the company benefits from new talent. Kickstart and training opportunities are critical parts of my plan to create 100,000 jobs in just two years, and I look forward to continuing to work with Severn Trent to get as many people into work as possible.”

As well as supporting communities, the brand new Academy will also be used by Severn Trent’s own people, providing a variety of training, using traditional and experimental learning, to cater for the needs of its 7,000 work force.Virtual reality, technical training, operational rigs and traditional classroom based learning – are some of the ways Severn Trent has invested in its Academy, to make sure its people are skilled to deliver the best service for its eight million customers.