Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham kicked off Scottish Apprenticeship Week [March 2-6] with a visit to SSE’s training centre.
The Perthshire South and Kinross-shire MSP was given a tour of the Perth facility where hundreds of trainees have passed through its doors on route to a long-term career in the energy sector.
She met with apprentices, local school pupils and SSE representatives, as the business steps up efforts to recruit the next generation of energy workers who will help tackle climate change.
With the company investing £6bn over five years to help decarbonise the UK and Ireland, apprentices entering the industry have a bright future.
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham, meets pupils from Blairgowrie High School (L-R Euan Steuart-Douglas, 15, Cole Arnold, 15, Jack Alexander, 16, Adrian Bahrim, 16 and Jake Forrest, 15)
Ms Cunningham, who is Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, said: “SSE is one of thousands of businesses across Scotland recognising the value of work-based learning so I was delighted to celebrate the start of Scottish Apprenticeship Week with the team at the SSE training centre in Perth.
“Apprenticeships not only support people into sustainable and rewarding careers, they also contribute to the skills needs of our businesses. The Scottish Government is on track to meet our target of 30,000 new apprenticeships starts by 2020/21, pursuing inclusive growth for the wellbeing and prosperity of Scotland’s people.”
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham, meets apprentices Matthew Leith, 22, from the Isle of Bute and Darcie Lynch, 19, from Dundee
SSE Director of HR, John Stewart, said: “Apprenticeships offer sustainable long-term careers, and for those entering the energy sector the opportunities are even greater.
“The Government has set ambitious climate change targets and we are going to require a great green workforce to deliver.
“That is why SSE, as part of our wider business strategy focusing on low carbon assets and infrastructure, is committed to a well-run, well-funded, well-delivered apprenticeship programme which can change lives, provide sustainable jobs and improve business.”
Pupils from Blairgowrie High School also ran through a number of workshops and tried out practical skills including wind farm management, tower climbs and risk assessments.
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham, meets Adrian Bahrim, 16, of Blairgowrie High School
This year SSE, which is headquartered in Perth, is looking to recruit around 70 new apprentices.
A wide variety of positions are available from working on the onshore and offshore wind farms and hydro projects that will generate clean green energy to maintaining the flexible electricity grids needed to allow more renewables into the mix.
In a bid to improve diversity in the widest sense, the business has also moved away from having grades as an entry requirement, instead focusing on recruits who can demonstrate the seven key strengths: Drive, Resilience, Learning Agility, Safety, Social Adaptability, Collaboration, Resilience.
There are also over 15 trainee engineering opportunities allowing people a unique chance to work towards an HNC or a Foundation Degree whilst undertaking various work placements across the business.