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£714,000 boost for learning at work

UK Power Networks invested £714,000 in work-related qualifications for employees in 2013/14.

From Press releases - 29 May 2014 12:00 AM

UK Power Networks invested £714,000 in work-related qualifications for employees in 2013/14.

As Britain marked Learning at Work Week (May 19 to 25), the company which delivers electricity in London, the South East and East Anglia, is committed to helping even more staff to further their career goals.

The company, which employs 5,200 staff, has supported about 130 electricity workers with the cost of studies to develop their careers and climb the career ladder in the electricity distribution firm.

One was former linesman, Ben Coomber, who saw his career take off after receiving company funding for a Higher National Certificate (HNC) in electrical and electronic engineering two years ago. It meant he could become a field engineer in the capital programme team, before he even completes his studies next month.

Ben, who is 35, lives in Hove and works in Crawley. He said: “I started the qualification with the intention of eventually moving into an engineering role but managed to make the step a bit sooner than I thought. Completing a large portion of the qualification has gone a long way towards me landing my new job. The support and encouragement from old and new bosses has been great.

“I can definitely recommend supported studies to anybody who has access to it in the workplace and wants to further their career. It’s hard work but the satisfaction and rewards are well worth it.”

Courses cover technical, management, degrees and other career development qualifications, ranging from distance learning to college, university, in-house and online courses.

Melanie Webb, UK Power Networks’ talent consultant, said: “We want to be an employer of choice and when people have the ability to learn, backed by the company, it’s good for employee engagement.

“We are a niche market and the amount of jobs you can do in this company is diverse. You could start as a call taker and then progress into training or decide to train as a jointer and progress to be a field staff supervisor.”

Learning at Work Week (May 19 to 25) was organised by the Campaign for Learning.