More than 50 pupils got to know more about the world of work and saving water at a careers event, which included workers from Water Plus on volunteering days.
It was part of a range of recent activity by business water retailer Water Plus, which has customers across England and Scotland, which also saw Water Plus staff in Stoke-on-Trent engaging with businesses and the public sector around sustainability and increasing resilience across companies by looking more at how water’s used.
Water Plus is part of a Careers Hub in Staffordshire and a Careers Enterprise Programme, where its main office is, to encourage and support people into work in the future. In 2023, so far, more than 80 days of volunteering have been delivered in Staffordshire and Scotland, where other roles are based for the national business water retailer, including employees taking part in the future careers work.
Since May 2022, they’ve welcomed regular pupil visits from Christ Church Academy, in Stone, Staffordshire, with more than 160 Year 8 pupils visiting the Water Plus main office in Stoke-on-Trent. They’ve heard from a range of Water Plus employees, met Executives and senior leaders at the business and heard about different career routes and tips to consider. The visits, which also include water-saving tips for the children, saw 15 pupils at the offices in November and 15 there in October 2023.
In July, a CV workshop was run by Water Plus at their Stoke-on-Trent office, where most of their staff are based. As part of the CV workshop, school pupils identified the steps involved when applying for a job, reviewed good examples of CVs and top tips for interviews. The Academy has also received additional information around water efficiency for public sector buildings and to help pupils to learn more about the natural environment.
Mrs Claire Thomas, Associate Assistant Principal at Christ Church Academy, said: “We are thrilled that Water Plus joined our first ever Careers Fair and it is great to see their volunteering programme making such a positive impact for Staffordshire and on the futures of young people. It is so important for pupils to learn about the world of work, the skills and qualities employers are looking for and the different routes into employment. The CV workshop will help children with future careers and encouraging further learning to support them.
“The team at Water Plus continue to provide invaluable support for our careers programme and it’s brilliant Water Plus have joined the Careers Hub to deliver workshops and visits – to help build interest and curiosity around the world of work, to help young people for the future.”
Mrs Tara Thorn, Head of School at Christ Church Academy, said: “We are privileged to be working so closely with Water Plus, providing students with effective employer encounters. The students learn so much from visiting the Water Plus workplace, from the water-saving tips that are shared – and from hearing from a range of employees at the business about different career paths and how people developed themselves and their skills for the future. Thank you very much Water Plus for your support, it makes a big impact and encourages further learning and helps build confidence amongst our young people.”
Water Plus, which works with organisations including the public sector, providing water retail services and has increased the number of apprenticeships – doubling the number of people on these in 2023 in Finance, Commercial and Innovation and Technology areas of the business this year.
Water Plus employees can choose to do one day of volunteering each year – and some have chosen to get involved in careers’ insights and workplace skills for young people in Staffordshire as part of this.
In 2023, 23 hours of volunteering have been completed through working with school pupils.
Rachel Roden, Learning and Performance Partner at Water Plus, who was at the Careers Enterprise event at Christ Church Academy and involved in pupil visits to Water Plus, said: “Pupils came to see us in teams for 10 minutes each and we introduced ourselves, spoke to them briefly about what we do here at Water Plus and provided a quiz that touched on the themes for the Enterprise Day with a couple of water-related questions too, including how long ideally you should ideally take in the shower, to save water.
“Our people are passionate about what they do to help customers – and in helping the local community to make a difference, which includes giving back to help education and early careers – and the pupils seemed really engaged and we made sure that our session was fun, interactive and informative.”
“We stayed after school too, to speak with pupils who hadn’t had chance to visit our stall and also parents and carers,” Rachel added.
Pupils aged 12-years-old and 13-years-old attended the careers event, which aimed to show different routes into employment, highlight skills and qualities employers are looking for and for pupils to learn about different jobs in organisations.
Water Plus provides water and wastewater billing and customer service, along with a range of technical water services and information around water efficiency, for organisations of all sizes in England and Scotland.
In its awareness raising and engagement work with organisations, Water Plus has also helped a range of more than 40 sites in England, including in the public sector, see an average 34.6% water-saving in 2023, after water efficiency devices were installed.
More information on the further actions Water Plus has taken to give back to communities and support projects, that help the environment, can be seen on the Water Plus website:
www.water-plus.co.uk/about-us/corporate-social-responsibility-sustainability/ and in the latest annual Environment and CSR Report: www.water-plus.co.uk/policies-and-reports/#taking-responsibility-report . Updates on work by the water retailer can also be seen on social media, including #WaterPlusUK on the Water Plus LinkedIn.