More than 30 colleagues will be given extra training as part of Thames Water’s drive to upskill its technicians in the company.

Over the next two years, the employees will be trained in either mechanical, electrical or instrumentation control automation (ICA) specialisms before being re-deployed back into the field.

There is a shortage of specific skills at Thames Water, with this course one of many ways it is being addressed.

“IT’S A GREAT CHANCE TO LEARN SOME MORE SKILLS AND GAIN A HIGHLY-RESPECTED QUALIFICATION, SO WHEN THE OPPORTUNITY CAME ABOUT I JUMPED AT THE CHANCE. THE THINGS WE LEARN WE’LL BE ABLE TO PUT INTO PRACTICE WHEN WE’RE IN OUR DAY JOBS, AND THAT’S GREAT.”

Emma Goldsmith, career development consultant at Thames Water, said: “This is a great course, but it’s also a great way of empowering our already skilled workforce to help them achieve more for themselves, and for the company.

“It provides them with a great chance to learn more skills which will be incredibly valuable in their field and to also help fill job vacancies. At Thames, we’re determined to nurture and retain our talented workforce, and this course shows we’re willing to invest both time and money to help improve our employees.”

The 32 employees, who come from all corners of the company’s region and work in water production, waste treatment and networks, will juggle the hands-on course with their day jobs, holding monthly meetings with assessors and completing various assignments.

All of the participants were nominated by their line managers, with the first cohort starting the course at the start of January and all enrolled by April. The course is between 18 and 24 months long, with trainees gaining an NVQ at the end.

Stuart Atkins, who was one of the first cohorts and is based at Orpington waterworks, said: “It’s been a brilliant introduction to the course and I can’t wait to get going properly. It’s a great chance to learn some more skills and gain a highly-respected qualification, so when the opportunity came about I jumped at the chance. The things we learn we’ll be able to put into practice when we’re in our day jobs, and that’s great.”

By Lee Irving

thameswater.co.uk January/February 2019 | 5