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Study boost for aspirational employees

During Learning at Work Week (May 15-21) employees at the UK’s largest electricity distributor are signing up for courses.

From Press releases - 18 May 2017 12:00 AM

Phil graduation pic.jpg

Over 900 staff from UK Power Networks, the company that keeps the lights on in London, the South East and East Anglia, have been awarded educational grants in the past five years as part of its Supported Studies programme. Currently 118 employees are working towards academic, vocational and professional qualifications, with a further 256 applications received for 2017. 

The programme pays 100% of tuition fees and gives employees paid time to attend most classes, and it is just one of the ways UK Power Networks supports learning in the workplace. The qualifications taken span all levels and range from electronic engineering to procurement, human resources to accounting.  Staff at any level can apply for a recognised qualification which will add value to their role and the business.

Learning at Work Week is an annual event in May organised by the Campaign for Learning since 1999. It aims to put a spotlight on the importance and benefits of learning and development at work.

Sarah Porcelli, interim head of Learning & Development at UK Power Networks, said, “We are incredibly committed to the personal development of our employees and provide as many opportunities for learning as we can. The Supported Studies programme in particular allows staff at all levels the freedom to develop their skills in their chosen field and the opportunity to progress in their career. We are delighted that more staff have taken advantage of the programme this year than in 2016, and hopefully this number will continue to grow. ”

Phil Spiby, Supported Studies graduate and sustainability advisor at UK Power Networks, said, “After rushing into a degree at 18 and dropping out after five terms, it’s taken nearly 30 years for me to decide what I want to do. I want to understand climate change, one of the biggest issues of our time. UK Power Networks has been incredibly supportive and have helped me change my career path by funding my degree and giving me time off for classes and exams.

“I believe companies that support employees learning and development, such as UK Power Networks, benefit society enormously. They allow individuals such as myself, who just weren’t ready for further education early on, to get back on track. Whilst also providing any individual with the flexibility to learn new skills and better adapt to the ever changing world of work in our modern society.”

Dan Kinslow, Supported Studies graduate and major project surveyor, UK Power Networks, said, “I have found supported studies to be a great benefit to me personally in my career. It has given me the opportunity to increase my understanding and experience in my job role at both an academic level and also in terms of trying to gain professional membership and chartered status. Without such support, I would not have been able to advance as far as I have in my profession and I for that, I am very thankful to the company.”