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Learning at Work leads to career change for Phil

During Learning at Work Week, Norfolk man Phil Spiby is encouraging others to take up work support schemes, as it helped him change his career.

From Press releases - 9 May 2019 12:00 AM

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His employer UK Power Networks runs a Supported Studies scheme that provides funding and time for staff to achieve qualifications and develop interests relevant to their jobs.

Phil, 58, from Attleborough, gained a first class degree in Environmental Sciences with the Open University after several years of study. He said: “Climate change was the big issue facing the world and I wanted to understand it better.”

When Phil started working as a press officer at the country’s largest electricity distributor he was studying a module on ‘energy for a sustainable future’ in his spare time. His next move in the company was aligned to his environmental interests when he became a sustainability advisor and now he is developing UK Power Networks’ Green Action Plan to help meet its ambition to become the most environmentally responsible company in the industry.

Phil found studying while working full time challenging but the fact he found the subject so interesting helped drive him through it. He said: “The company was a great support, I got time off for exams and some study, they paid my fees and it improved my ability to do this job. Supported Studies is a really good idea and it opens the possibilities up to everybody.”

In the past five years more than 1,600 employees have taken advantage of UK Power Networks’ Supported Studies scheme and this year 462 employees have already applied for funding for Further Education, Higher Education, vocational or Professional qualifications. Popular courses are Electrical and Electronic Engineering BTEC courses, City & Guilds Level 2 and Level 3 Diploma in Electrical Power Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering HNC, Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and accountancy qualifications.

Learning at Work Week takes place from May 13-19 on the theme 'Shaping the Future'. For more details see