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Welsh Water scoops graduate and apprenticeship awards

  • Not-for-profit company receives Graduate Scheme of the Year at UK-wide awards
  • Recognised by Apprenticeships Cymru awards with Large Employer of the Year for apprenticeships schemes
  • Awarded Bronze for Training Journal Awards for operational training schemes
  • Company announced £32 million investment of profit to benefit customers earlier this year

The only not-for-profit water and sewerage company in England and Wales has been recognised with two major awards as it cements its place as a leading workplace for apprentices and graduates.

Welsh Water, the fifth-biggest employer in Wales with a 3,000-strong workforce, received the Graduate Scheme of the Year at the UK-wide Personnel Today awards for its work to employ and mentor graduates – seeing off competition from defence giant BAE Systems to win.

It has also been recognised for its work with apprentices, taking home Large Employer of the Year from the Apprenticeships Cymru awards having gone up against the likes of Argos and BT.

The awards are the latest in a series of endorsements for its development schemes for new talent, with the company also receiving an award this month for its operational training schemes, and was shortlisted for the Careers Wales Education Award for its career development work with young people.

The not-for-profit company, which supplies more than three million customers across much of Wales, Herefordshire and parts of Deeside, employs 47 graduates, 62 apprentices and 46 trainees across the business.

Judges praised the graduate schemes for their partnerships with Welsh universities, its comprehensive development plan and “excellent” conversion rates.

The programme is embedding a long-term succession strategy for key leadership roles in the future, with an ageing workforce - introducing revamped social media recruitment policies, rotational placements in the company and opportunities to work in community-based and charity events.

Its work with apprentices was also recognised for its work in ensuring its workforce is strong into the future. Since 2011, 85 apprentices and trainees have been employed and another 23 apprentices and trainees were recruited this year.

Welsh Water is a unique employer in the utilities sector in England and Wales as it is owned by Glas Cymru and does not have shareholders, so it invests any gains back into the business to help improve services, keep bills lower and accelerate investment in areas that will directly benefit customers.

Its graduates and apprentices contributed to the announcement earlier this year that the company would be reinvesting £32 million back into schemes to benefit customers, additional to its commitment to a record £1.7 billion investment in its network between 2015 and 2020.

Linda Williams, Welsh Water’s Director of Human Resources, said: “We are delighted our graduate and apprenticeship programmes have been recognised by these awards.

“The work both sets of colleagues do is crucial in making sure we are prepared for the future succession challenge – and our graduates and apprentices have already contributed immensely to the strong position the company is in today.

“The success could not have been achieved without the help from managers across the business who mentor the graduates, the hard work of our Talent Development team and the effort the graduates and apprentices put in themselves.”